The White Room:

The White Room is currently on sabbatical whilst we revise our application to the Arts Council. This application when successful will facilitate the establishment of the New White Room and re-establish it as a key monthly date for your diaries! Watch this space….

Sherborne House Arts: Olympic Summer

The summer of 2012 saw an explosion of art taking place in Weymouth as part of the Cultural Olympiad and other South West Projects. Alex Hartley’s long awaited Nowhereisland, accompanied by his Embassy housed in a converted horsebox, finally arrived in Weymouth as the Olympic season was rung in by bells for three minutes countrywide, courtesy of Martin Creed’s bell ringing ‘Work no 1197’.

Day Bowman at Weymouth Train Station

Day Bowman at Weymouth Train Station

Welcoming visitors to Olympic Weymouth Day Bowman’s dramatic paintings made into giant billboard posters, displayed alongside the station reveal her continuing concerns for the forgotten, the derelict and the abandoned areas of seaside living. Bus shelters and other locations will be hung with posters of painter Wendy Elia’s full-length portrait of triathlete Rowena Pearce.

Rowena - Wendy Elia

Rowena – Wendy Elia

Sherborne House Arts partnered with b-side on this commission inviting the artist, who originally exhibited in the SHA Bodyscapes exhibition at Weymouth, to make a portrait of someone who practices an extreme sport. The portrait of Rowena draws attention to the different areas of her expertise, swimming, cycling and running, and the extremely rigorous training that such a sport necessitates. For Wendy the process was an interesting one and a learning curve. She doesn’t normally paint to commission and her usual models are people that she knows. However selecting Rowena out of the group of sports people who applied, she found her “amazing” and for Rowena sitting for a portrait, also a new experience, over three weekends was ‘an endurance test’ of a different kind.

Simon Callery - Inland Sealand

Simon Callery – Inland Sealand

The other major SHA project that summer was Simon Callery’s Inland Sealand. It was one of a number of commissions under the umbrella of ExLab presented by the Big Picture Collaboration. The brief for the project included walking the public access track and bridleways from Sherborne to Weymouth in order to, “traverse, connect and locate the historic landscapes of the limestone and chalk downlands with world-renowned geology of the Jurassic coast”. Simon

Callery’s past collaborations with archaeologists made him an ideal choice for this particular project and he has worked closely throughout with earth scientist Sam Scriven from the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Team. It has proved to be an extremely fruitful collaboration and they are developing a useable walking guide that aims to sensitize walkers to the geology underfoot and to reveal the extent of its impact on the character of the inland landscape.

Simon’s large-scale paintings offer, not just a visual experience but also an emphatically physical one. These new works have been informed and shaped by the experience of walking the landscape and are accompanied by drawing and photographs relating to the geology. “To some degree, these works are the result of a need to find new forms for painting to reflect an experience of the Dorset landscape. They also initiate a development in my practice to pair paintings with photographs”. In the setting of 33 Newland, the exhibition venue in Sherborne, Simon’s intention is to create a context where the impact of the inland geology on the painting unfolds as we move from room to room.

Other artists involved in the summer’s exhibitions who have, in the past been associated with or have exhibited at Sherborne House include Stig Evans and Joe Stevens. Joe was joint winner of the first Sherborne Open exhibition and his exhibition on Portland shows work for which he used GPS technology, to record meandering walks, in order to extend peoples’ perceptions of what drawing might be.

Portland Colour Library

Stig Evans who was one of the recipients of a Colour and Chemistry Bursary has been working with the achingly nostalgic Portland Colour Library, discovered in London, which records in a very personal way the distinctive colour found on Portland.

Simon Callery: Inland Sealand
33 Newland Sherborne DT9 3JG, next door to Sherborne House from Saturday
28th July – Sunday 9th September. Open Wed – Sun 11.00 – 18.00.

Parallels and Meridians – Beyond the Boundaries
Joe Stevens, Dorset, UK
Location: Jacksons Gallery, 77 Fortuneswell, Portland
Dates: August 29 – September 09 Portland

Portland Colour Library
Stig Evans Brighton, UK
Location 1: Portland Museum, 217 Wakeham, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1HS
Location 2: Quiddles Café, The Esplanade, Chesil Cove, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1LN
Dates: August 29 – September 09

© Fiona Robinson
July 2012

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About Sherborne House Arts

Sherborne House Arts (SHA) is the management committee responsible for developing and curating the visual arts programme at Sherborne House in Dorset. With an overarching aim of making contemporary visual art more accessible to a diverse audience, SHA develops and presents exhibitions and projects that reflect current visual art practice, encourage dialogue and develop opportunities for the creation of new work. SHA creates a platform for engaging with current visual arts and media practice in and outside the region. Whilst preparing for an eventual return to curating the programme at Sherborne House SHA is continuing to explore ways in which visual art can be shown in non gallery spaces. Our current projects have a Cultural Olympiad focus and involve artist commissions presented through the b-side festival and the Exploratory Laboratory project. To read more, visit our current projects page. SHA is actively seeking partnerships with host organisations and will investigate new ways of curating and presenting the visual arts, and providing the support and environments within which visual arts practice can flourish.