Category: Meetings


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: And Dorothy and Pam’s mention of a Radio 4 programme about the value of art as an environmental recording tool ( 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!


We are sending everyone a provisional date for a sketching day at The Chain Bridge Llangollen – Tuesday 16th May.

(There is a possibility that we may have to change the date, but will post on here as soon as!

Look forward to seeing you all in the Chainbridge bar for a coffee at 11.0 pm – or later as suits anyone –  before heading out for some serious sketching and talking about art and catching up, lunch break etc)

Tuesday 21st March get together at Hilary’s!!


Heralding us into Spring, Hilary Cowley-Greer is inviting us to her larger studio space for our next get together on Tuesday 21st March at 2.0 pm!

Hilary’s  artworks include some amazing drawings, prints, ceramic figures and jewellery.


Hilary lives at 57 Willow Street Oswestry SY11 1AQ just up the road from the Willow Gallery

on the other side. tel: 01691 680831

(Parking is limited, but there are often spaces around the corner in Welsh Walls or roads off Welsh Walls. Alternatively the main car park is about 7 mins walk away in the centre of Oswestry)

All welcome.

We look forward to seeing you there!



Reminder if you have forgotten…..Tuesday 21st February 2.0 pm get together at The Willow Gallery – bring your photos, sketchbooks, exhibition leaflets, or simply yourself to talk about


(There is also a great current exhibition on at The Willow at the moment, soon coming to an end.)













Old Oswestry Hillfort! 11/12 February 

Bring your heart!!

Join the HUG!! hearts-around-the-hillfort_flyer_updated_jan21-1


Get together on Tuesday 29th November Willow Gallery

Calling all local artists! Long time no get together!!


IMG_9414Tuesday 29th November

in the Willow Gallery Cafe (tea and cakes or whatever you fancy!)

2.0 pm

Bring photographs, sketchbooks, exhibitions visited or to visit, ideas, or just yourself!!

See you there!



Calling all Glass Artists!

Message from Tony Robertsp3


“I’m hosting a get-together for artists working in glass this Sunday at 11.30am. If you work in glass, and would like to come, please do!

The meeting is organised by the Contemporary Glass Society (CGS), and is open to all artists. The CGS is very similar to the BVA, but with a specific media (rather than geographical) focus.

Here are the details:

CGS Hub – West Midlands & North Wales
Sunday 6th November 2016, 11.30am – 3.30pm
Tony Roberts Studio, Red House, Knockin Heath, Oswestry, SY10 8EA
This is the first meeting in the West Midlands to establish a regular Hub. A great opportunity to meet other makers/artists, share ideas and work on events in your area

11.30 Bring packed lunch – Meet and mingle with other members. Drinks provided
1.30 – SHOW & LEARN, bring a piece of work that you are proud of and/or had a problem with and would like to ask for ideas
12.30 – Explore Tony’s glass workshop and studio: Tony will talk about the practical issues of casting his cored glass sculptures in a deep sand bed, staining glass with raw metals, and answering questions.
2.30pm –Sarah Brown (a CGS Trustee) will talk about CGS’s support for hubs, what others have done. We will discuss the future of a possible West Midland / North Wales Hub. We aim to plan a next meeting.
3.30pm – Finish

To book a place please contact   or
Pam Reekie
CGS members £3 non members £6″


If  you are coming to the Willow Gallery meeting on THURSDAY 29th October and would like help from John regarding Inside Out website AND the new Inside Out crit site and the vaguaries of WORDPRESS then bring along a laptop!


Today we were very privileged to visit  the Gold Award Yew Tree House - home of artists Jo and Clive Wilson. Jo is interested in mosaics and enamelling and Clive in carving, painting and didgeridoo making.

A truly amazing place both inside and out. We started with tea and delicious home made flapjacks, some sharing of our art interests and an introduction to Didge* the dog,  and then had a tour of the house. I say house, but it is more like a beautiful gallery with stunning views through the windows, and stunning artwork on the walls and displayed on shelves. Some of this work is their own and some is by other artists such as Gill Crozier and Jan Singleton.

The house tour was followed by a garden and studio and workshop tour in 3 acres of wonderful lawns and woodland areas and everywhere one caught glimpses of huge carved artworks, arrangements of stones, mosaics and other delights. It was a bit like a journey through a secret garden and took us all back to our childhoods.

Huge thanks to Jo and Clive from all the Inside Out artists who visited- we left inspired and filled with creativity, determined to return again sometime in the future! Below are a few photographs that capture the experience.





One of Jan Singleton’s lovely glass works!



Talking (?) Heads?


… heads……



Interesting tree branches, enhanced by some carving to take your imagination for a ride!


….And a glimpse of insight into the making of Didgeridoos!

IMG_7717……with Clive giving us a demonstration!

*A shortening of Didgeridoo!

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