Category: Art


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Diana’s Hillfort activities and exhibition of art at Oswestry Library – the kind of thing we’re planning to repeat later this year for Heritage Open Days.

A great meeting yesterday! There was a lot of creative thinking in the air, and it feels like we all came away not just inspired and enthusiastic, but with some solid ideas for upcoming projects and exhibitions. For those of you who weren’t able to attend, here are notes on the meeting: 

After a quick round of introductions to make sure the new members got to know everyone, we started with a discussion of exhibitions and other events. Here is a complete calendar of upcoming events from now through October. The first exhibition on that list is:

Oswestry Nature Festival

Dates: July 6th – August 28th

Type of Event: This is an Oswestry-wide collection of events and exhibitions under the above banner. We have been offered some space for an exhibition in the Willow.

Co-ordinators: Debbie – She is putting together a group application for the exhibition, but will be circulating it to everyone in the next week or so for them to add details of work they would like to submit.

Timetable: Deadline for taking artwork to the Willow Gallery June 29th

Notes: Although this isn’t our event, it feels like a good opportunity to forge creative links between the hillfort and natural/earth/green art happening elsewhere.

Next, we had our inaugural “expert knowledge” talk. The idea of these talks is to have someone with some expert or inside knowledge on the hillfort give a short 15-20 minute creative talk on some aspect of the hillfort. For this inaugural talk, John told the story not of the “hillfort” – but “The Hill“; the 358 million-year-long story of Old Oswestry as a place, of which The Hill as a human place – a “hillfort” – is only a part. Here are John’s notes in case people find them useful.

Afterwards, the idea of the hillfort as a “hill” prompted all sorts of discussion, both about the way this idea allows one to better understand Old Oswestry as a landscape place, and as a place with a history that stretches back (and forward!) into Deep Time. It also makes it easier to separate out “The Hill” from the erroneous martial implications of the term “hillfort”, and easier to look specifically at the geological and natural information about the place and then, in a different way, at the archaeological and historical information about the place. We talked for a long, long time about the way the hill would have looked at certain points in time, its relationship to the Coppie, how geology, topography and history affect present-day flora and fauna – indeed, about the temporal and spatial context of the hill and the hillfort that often gets overlooked as we focus on “the monument” itself.

The upshot of all this wide-ranging discussion was two-fold:

  • First, we all came away thinking more about “the hillfort” as being just one aspect of “The Hill” that is Old Oswestry and how this would impact on our own work; some interesting ideas for making work that both explores context and makes links.
  • Second, these thoughts coalesced into plans to develop a range of activities that we could lead at Oswestry Library for our contribution to Heritage Open Day: activities that would look at “The Different Ages” of Old Oswestry, and focus on bringing together geology, stratigraphy, archaeology and history.

Along the way, of course, our discussion veered off into a hundred little byways and diversions: from Dorothy’s “flatbacks” on the theme of “Save Our Setting”, to the historical weaving activities Dzintra will also be doing at the library during Heritage Open Days, to John’s illustrations looking not back, but forward, to the “future history” of Old Oswestry, to Diana’s waste plastic art, Pam’s woodland management and Rob’s fauvist designs on the hillfort (possibly soon to get a digital upgrade?). Talk of Iron Age re-enactment as another focus for community art projects prompted Debbie to mention an upcoming Textile Stories Study Day at the Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury, Sat. May 11th – more information via this link:  http://dwtextilestories.blogspot.co.uk/ And Dorothy and Pam’s mention of a Radio 4 programme about the value of art as an environmental recording tool (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0004sdb) prompted discussion of our work as a form of social archive of changing conditions and attitudes towards Old Oswestry – something we’ll work on more in coming months.

So, as you can see, a highly creative meeting, filled not just with ideas, but a goodly array of plans for onward projects, both individual and collective. Our next meeting is scheduled for 11am on Wednesday, June 19th at the Oswestry Library meeting room again. During the meeting we might get an opportunity to trial some of the proposed Heritage Open Days activities various of us will have been developing. See you then!

Hillfort Creativity Group Meeting

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The next meeting of the Hillfort Creativity Group will be on Wed. May 8th at 11am in the Meeting Room at Oswestry Library (not Hermon Chapel, as we thought). All creative-minded people are warmly invited: visual artists, musicians, writers, makers, crafters, etc.

We’ll start with some brief information about upcoming exhibitions and events, and then short updates from anyone who has been working on creative hillfort-related projects. We’ll then have our inaugural “creative talk” – not a lecture or a presentation! – from local historian, archaeologist and illustrator John Swogger about the hillfort’s long life-story. These talks are meant to be a spur to creativity, so you are invited (encouraged!) to write, sketch, knit, doodle, etc. during the talk, as well as press the speaker with creative questions.

Look forward to seeing you all there!

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This Inside Out blog will be hosting posts and information for the “Hillfort Creativity Group” for the next few months. This group is a newly-formed hub for visual artists, creative writers, poets, musicians – indeed, anyone whose creative endeavours have been sparked by Old Oswestry Hillfort’s history, archaeology, wildlife, natural beauty or spirit of place. The group is a way for those of us inspired in some way by the hillfort to share our endeavours, find new collaborative partners and come together for events and exhibitions. Some of us are public artists, keen to pursue outreach projects that bring the community into our art – some of us will be pursuing more individual, introspective creative practices. The group will be using this blog and the Inside Out Facebook page to share that work.

Those of you who are new to the Inside Out blog – click the “Subscribe” option on the side menu to receive all posts and information about upcoming meetings, events and exhibitions. We will also be cross-posting that information on the Inside Out Facebook page, so you can check there as well.

Our next meeting will be in May – and we’ll be posting the date, time and venue of that meeting soon. Whatever kind of creative soul you happen to be – writer, sculptor, photographer, dancer, musician, gamer, crafter, knitter, painter, illustrator or maker – you’re welcome to join us!

Cockaygne: Land of Plenty

 

Cockaigne was a mythical land of plenty, but Bruegel’s depiction of Cockaigne and its residents

is not meant to be a flattering one. He chooses rather a comic illustration of the spiritual emptiness

believed to derive from gluttony, sloth and the other 7 deadly sins.

 

“Not only the Willow” by Diana Baur

one of the 2D entries depicting Cockaigne in much the same way that Bruegel did, but with a 21st Century environmental twist.


 

 

THIS WEEK’S EXHIBITION           https://fishslabgallery.co.uk/

Interiors

07 NOVEMBER, 2018 TO 13 NOVEMBER, 2018

 

Amber says “Super pleased to have a photograph displayed on BBC Wales News!”

BBC Wales News

Making a splash on Tuesday.

Here’s Amber Morris’ refreshing view of the AWESOME Swallow Falls at Betws-y-Coed, Conwy county.

http://www.jessicalloyd-jones.com/about

Ant Dickinson installing work with Jessica Lloyd Jones at  Canary Warf January 2018Some previous works by Jessica belowA FEAST FOR THE EYES!

(Aiming to post up links to inspiring artists regularly. If you have a favourite artist send Diana a link for posting throughout 2018. Let’s brighten our lives big time!! Thank you. dianabaur@hotmail.com)

Found this wood carver on Twitter and find her work inspirational. 


http://michelledickson.com/artwork/3848354-Neither-Mine-Nor-Yours-2-view-2.html

 “In Neither Mine Nor Yours, the effect of the human footprint on the environment is investigated.The paradox of “man’s destruction of the environment, he needs to survive” rises to the forefront. And with that there is an overarching sense of fragility- both of the body and of the world around us.”

Sketching Tomorrow – directions

For everyone that’s coming to our sketching day tomorrow at the Chainbridge, the best place to park is probably the Horseshoe Falls carpark – marked with the red circle on the map.

Follow the B5103 or the A5 west out of Llangollen, towards Corwen. If you drive along the A5, turn off the road over the sharp bend and fantastic little bridge over the River Dee, then left onto the B road on the other side, and almost immediately again left into the carpark. If you’re coming along the B road, you’ll see signs on the road, and make a left hand turn into the carpark.

In addition to the Victorian chainbridge itself (1), recently restored and reopened, there are the Horseshoe Falls (2), the start of the Llangollen canal (3), the restored Victorian railway station (4), and the church further on up the footpath. And if the weather is bad, we can always retreat to the Chainbridge Hotel for a cup of tea.

See you tomorrow at 11am!

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