#197 theoldmortuary ponders.

What to do on a damp Bank Holiday Monday when the dogs are at the groomers? Take ourselves off to Delamore Arts, a, not dog friendly Art Exhibition set in beautiful surroundings. This year is the 20th Anniversary of the event and I am ashamed to say that we were newbies, never having been before. In our defence we were not living in the South West for much of those twenty years but that seems a poor excuse to miss something so gorgeous and quintessentialy British in the very early summer. Regular visitors probably have a better chance of concentrating on the art,we were all over the place. Wowed by the parkland and the formal gardens before we even thought of looking at 3d or 2d artwork. Open for the whole of May this is an experience not to be missed. Full disclosure, there are lots of Drawn to the Valley Artists and Makers involved. I will only mention one DttV artist in this blog. Tessa Jane, who has been heavily involved in the organisation of this years exhibition as a local ambassador for Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, the charity that is the beneficiary of Delamore Arts 22.

He Says Live With the World Inside You. Tessa Jane

The image below is the view looking out of the OMS Carriage Shed Gallery. Curated by Tessa Jane. So much to learn about OMS, the organisation, and Tessa Jane’s perspective as well as the valuable work being done by the University of Plymouth, all contained in a welcoming small space.

OMS seems to me, as an outsider, an organisation that supports people with MS to look outside and beyond their diagnosis. Hence my outside and beyond image.

I suppose in writing this blog without too much actual art I am encouraging local people to go and see this event for themselves. I am also supporting my own decision to go again and be able to write another blog that does talk just about art. Some hope!

Looking at plants like this was both diverting and the perfect preparation for looking at 2d art like this.

Wet Apples © John Hurford Hon SWAc

Wet Apples by John Hurford catches the eye at the Stables Gallery further away from the main house. Still authentically a stables, horses were being exercised as we exercised our minds. The Stables Gallery was the first one we visited after following the pencil trail.

A trail that took us, two cold water swimmers, past a swimming pond.

You can understand the pull and the fascination we felt towards just a quick sneaky dip in this tranquil water. But like the dedicated art lovers that we are we pulled our attention back to the job in hand and found life imitating art.

Gravel at Delamore
Azalea Leaves by Louis Victory

Then nature beguiled us into observing the search for pollen, by a very busy bumble bee. Who was up to his many armpits in the flowers of an Ichium.

Time to head off into the woods…

Portrait of Feathers Dawn Brooks-Ensor
Shattered Steve Hedley
Please Sit Isabel Coulton

Time to finish this particular Delamore Blog with my favourite sort of pictures. Its complicated…

Purbeck Form Four Andrew Thomas
Duet Dianne Griffin
Walnut Leaf Richard Cresswell

#17 theoldmortuary ponders

©Debs Bobber

How wrong could I have been yesterday! The fog and mist cleared quickly, by the time we had done our swimming the sun was up. Not only was the sun up but someone lovely had put up coat hooks at our normal swimming spot.

©Gill Bobber

It took no time at all to fill all the hooks with our swimming stuff.

What a kind thing to do.

When we moved house recently we gained a garage, which in some ways has replaced an art studio and two brick storage sheds in the last house. Inevitably it became a bit of a storage area and dumping ground during the move. It will never actually house a car.

Somehow during the move our cordless drill became disassociated from the charging port. The last place it could possibly be was the garage. And just like that the autumn project revealed itself! I can’t say it will be the most exciting of post-move projects, and would certainly have been better done before quite so many spiders had moved in, before the winter. An hour or so of reorganisation yesterday revealed the missing charger. That small victory became reason enough for me to stop the process. More effort and diligence is going to be needed to see this particular project through. Perhaps next week is the time to really sort it out…

For now I have an exhibition to prep for. How many times will I have to scuttle into the garage today to find missing art stuff!

Pandemic Pondering #527

The sun was out yesterday. I was out yesterday. All was well with the world. Have a wonderful Sunday.

I’m not actually planning to stop there. Yesterday was full of lovely people and great art which I will share as the acceptable face of Saturday. Because nobody needs to see pictures of, or read about, my ranting on the subject of traffic blockages and crazy redirections. Or framers who haven’t framed. The pursuit of Art is not always comfy but it always repays with gorgeousness. Thanks to the artists of Drawn to the Valley for soothing a grumpy driver. The amazing print below exactly represents my head after more than two hours of road congestion. Except my busy head was not filled with such beauty.

©Beth Munro at Ocean Studios

Looking and talking about art is very soothing, by the end of the day the traffic and complexities of the day were all forgotten, my life view was much calmer!

©Melody James, at Isambard House, Saltash Station.

Pandemic Pondering #525

Friday in the first week of September in the second year of a pandemic feels like a strange place to be. The end of another summer of uncertainty with summer traditions modified or cancelled. One regular event of late summer that is going ahead with appropriate Covid-19 precautions is the Drawn to the Valley Open Studios event. 9 days of art and making locations, open to the public throughout the Tamar Valley.

Locations and opening times can be found in the virtual brochure on our website.

Home

There are 3 more days to visit studios. I’ve spent my free time this week calling in on artists and catching some beautiful art and conversations along the way.

All the artists have been very welcoming but one welcome was very special.

Pippin in Bere Alston gave the most enthusiastic welcome so far.

Pandemic Pondering #500

500 Pandemic Ponderings and the world is still in the grip of something that affects everyone. Currently our planet is still gripped and the Pandemic is far from over.Who knows how this part of our history will end.

@theoldmortuary, just like everyone, is in quite a different place at #500 to where we were at #1. No longer living at the actual Old Mortuary, that was never a plan!

Today though, beyond PP#500, is pretty average. We took a trip out to Tavistock in the rain. The rain gave me all the images for this blog. A rain swollen river + my silky water feature on the phone camera is as good an illustration for time passing as I could muster today.

We went to Tavistock to visit the Drawn to the Valley exhibition again and to visit the Saturday market.

We also had a Bubble Wrap popping and styling date with our grandchild in Hong Kong.

Not something we were planning to do in the street but that is where we were when the call came through. We had planned ahead and just whipped our Bubble Wrap out of a handbag and struck some poses and popped away. Passers by were certainly puzzled! A fine way to spend half an hour on a normal day with an auspicious number.

Pandemic Pondering#456

Visiting artists in their workspace is a multisensory experience. One I always have mixed feelings about beforehand but nearly always come away enriched in so many ways. Not always arty embellishment of my soul either. My mixed feelings are caused mostly by an inate shyness and reticence about walking into someone else’s creative space. Yesterday I visited three creatives participating in the South Tamar Art Trail. All in a small hamlet in the Tamar Valley known as Rising Sun.

My first visit was to Gudrun’s fused glass studio. A buzzy place with a bead making workshop going on.

Bead making is mesmerising. Fire, dexterity and concentration are significant factors in the magic of fused glass bead making. Gudrun also fuses ideas and creativity with her neighbour John who creates his craft in a woodshed filled with equipment and wood for recycling into wondrous objects.

Gudrun walked us over to John’s workplace. The smell of freshly drilled or cut wood was intoxicating as we first entered. John recycles wood from all sorts of places and the fragrances from unusual woods create a heady brew. From John’s workshop we walked to Suzy Billing Mountain’s unit on a small industrial unit nearby.

Suzy has been making fluid art for a couple of years. Walking into her unit blasts your eyes with colour. It is everywhere, including on Suzy. She gave us a demo of her style of working and we nattered a lot. Having said that our eyes were blasted, I’ve chosen a really subtle piece to show her style. Mostly because it sums up the colours of walking in the Tamar Valley in early summer.

South Tamar Art Trail runs until Sunday 27th June.

Pandemic Pondering #430

©Sarah Brown Drawn to the Valley

Today, Saturday is the last day of the art exhibition at Tamar Valley AONB. It has been a remarkable exhibition with good visitor numbers and many sales. Every time I’ve been there has been time to concentrate on different areas of the exhibition. Hares were my thing on the last visit. The sleepy one above and the mythical one below are so peaceful.

© Gilly Spottiswood Drawn to the Valley

The mum and leveret below make me smile.

©Shari Hills Drawn to the Valley

Stewarding at the exhibition has been a great chance to meet and talk with visitors and artists, and we have heard some fabulous comments and conversations but the real take away from this first post pandemic ( we hope) exhibition is the smiles and happiness that doing something normal  has given people. There has also been plenty of chance for a good natter when the exhibition has been quiet

©Sue Richardson Drawn to the Valley

But this afternoon it will be time to call in the hard hats and take everything down.

© Julia O’Dell ( detail) Drawn to the Valley

And all head off for the Hills.

© Allie Cole Drawn to the Valley

Or the quiet waters of the Tamar Valley.

©Clare Law Drawn to the Valley

The remaining unsold works will appear on our website very soon.
https://drawntothevalley.com/.

Pandemic Pondering #428

What an amazing day! First a perfect un weather-damaged Poppy bloomed.

And the sun came out, so hopefully pollinators were busy later harvesting this tasty purple pollen.

Then I got to take a friend, who is recovering from surgery, for a little road trip to visit the exhibition. We also met another friend there so some nattering occured. The red of the morning poppy was much in evidence as we looked round the works on show. Red dots all over the room. Red dots are the traditional way to denote that a piece of artwork is sold.

There are several columns like this around the exhibition showing the success for many artists in selling work. As one of the co- curators of this exhibition it is incredibly exciting to see so much work selling. Even better was the huge hug I got from a very happy Allie Cole who was so thrilled to sell a new style of work. She still has two more to sell but her happiness felt better than seeing a red dot on one of my own paintings!

©Allie Cole- details from her paintings awaiting new homes.

We couldn’t have picked a better day for a small trip out , the sunlight was amazing and the views across the valley as stunning as ever. The sunshine lasted through to the evening swim.

A fab day of sunshine, friends and red dots ( of two sorts).

Poppies @theoldmortuary

Pandemic Pondering #424

©Drawn to the Valley

The last two days have been both busy and hugely enjoyable. Finally we have been able to put on a Spring Exhibition featuring the work of artists and makers in the Tamar Valley. Last year we did all the planning and preparation work, only to have to cancel the exhibition at short notice. Planning for this year certainly felt like deja vu but with the added bonus of factoring in Covid safe planning for a public gathering in an indoor space.

‘Hanging Out’ with other humans for the last two days bringing the exhibition and its venue to life after so long was as much of a pleasure as seeing all the artworks blow in from all over the Tamar Valley.

And ‘blow in’ they certainly did with gusting winds of up to 55 mph and torrential rain.

After one day of construction and one day of curating and hanging we are ready to open the doors at 10:30 this morning. Here is a glimpse of what we have been up to.

The first floor mini gallery. Tiny works of art at affordable prices,with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside

Hanging in the stairwell, maximising available space to allow safe distance to enjoy the exhibition.

The ground floor gallery. If the weather improves this area will be flooded with fresh air and sunshine. What a shame we are not able to host a ‘Private View’ event this year. Doors open at 10:30 this morning. Opening hours are 10:30-4:30 daily for a week and then just a morning opening next Saturday. The address is on the posters below.

Pandemic Pondering #423

Today was spent setting up this exhibition with a fabulous team of artists working hard together with the mundane, but essential, tasks of making an exhibition space out of a multi-purpose room. The weather, a wind speed of 45 miles an hour did not help with the delivery of boards.

Later in the afternoon artists were blown into the venue to deliver their work. Canvases turning themselves into sails propelling them to the door at speed. Friday is hanging day so tomorrows blog will be filled with wonderful works of art which were all delivered by the end of the day. It was lovely to work with a large group of people sorting things out and collaborating together, in person, for the first time in a very long while. I pinched the image below from a poetry brochure, but it sums up well the idea of the artists of a valley working well together.