Tag Archive: Dorothy Harrison


Image result for Staffordshire flatback death of nelson

A Staffordshire flatback commemorating the Death of Nelson (c. 1835-1875)

Another excellent meeting yesterday in the Dunbabin Room at The Willow Gallery. We kicked off with some organisational stuff about the upcoming Oswestry Nature Festival exhibition at the Willow. We have the whole of the wall by the rear entrance (opposite the kitchen door and loos) for the duration of the exhibition, and will be hanging it “salon style” (ie: works as close as possible) so as to maximise our presence.

 

Because we will be using the wall (and only that one wall), knowing what we have to exhibit is crucial. Please send Debbie your application forms and measurements of the piece(s) you wish to enter into the exhibition this week. We will be drawing up a plan of the wall to give to Anthony as a guide to hanging, but we must know sizes of pieces in order to do this. All work must be delivered to The Willow Gallery by June 29th at the latest in order to be included. You must have completed your Willow Gallery artists’ statement and application form (copies available from Debbie if you do not already have one), and attach a luggage-style label to the back of your work(s) with your name and title of the work. There will be Old Oswestry Hillfort Creativity Group stickers with Anthony behind the main desk at The Willow in a marked envelope. When you drop off your work(s), stick one of these stickers onto the luggage label with your name/title on it; this will ensure it gets hung in the right place (John will be delivering these stickers to The Willow from next Wed., so if you deliver your work before then, stickers won’t be available, but let me know you’ve done so and I will find your work and stick a sticker for you next Wed.).

We then had a quick discussion – that turned into quite a brainstorming session – about the Heritage Open Days Events in Oswestry Library in September. This event replaces the originally-proposed exhibition idea in Oswestry Market during HOD. Instead, we are now going to run a series of creative activities at tables throughout Oswestry Library on Saturday September 14th, between 10am-2pm as part of Heritage Open Days. From our discussion, the following activities were suggested:

Diana – papier mache hillforts

Rob – drawing iron age tools

Dzintra – historical weaving

Dorothy – bronze and iron age pot-making

John – drawing and colouring: hillforts/etc.

We will also have something about butterflies, moths and other insects on the hillfort, making use of work Dzintra has already done, plus things that Diana has from a previous workshop. More activities would be welcome, so if anyone has any ideas, bring them along to the next meeting. Something word-related would be good – Dave/Penny/or any of our other word-smiths: poetry/creative writing/…etc? If we have more activities than the Library has room for, we shall use that happy occasion to approach Mark Hignett at the Museum and see if we can use the Courtroom for overspill. We can talk more about that next meeting.

Enough talking – time for making! Dorothy kindly brought along clay and some photographs and a book on Staffordshire “flatbacks” – mantlepiece ceramics which were popular eighteenth and nineteenth century decorative/commemorative items. We all had a go making flatback trees, based on the examples she brought. Although we only had 45 minutes to play, even those of us who had never worked with clay before made great progress! Dorothy has kindly offered to fire and glaze our finished pieces, so sometime before next Friday, take them to the Library and put them on the windowsill above the BVA display area (with newspaper, poo bag and a bit of bubble wrap if you have it) and she will collect them and complete them. And if you’re interested – and I think a lot of us were – Dorothy has offered to do a much longer clay workshop, perhaps half-a-day? (Dorothy hasn’t confirmed this yet, so don’t quote me!). Get in touch if you’re interested and we’ll start making some arrangements. We’ll need to find a room (although the Dunbabin worked well, I thought), and work out a time, so nothing has been set in stone (or clay, ha-ha) yet. 

Discussion both during and after the session touched on the idea of commemoration and memorialisation. I’m interested in the idea that “craft art” objects like flatbacks can actually sometimes do a better job of bringing commemoration of places and events into the home than “fine art” objects. Think about all the tourist souvenirs people have in their homes that commemorate visits to important or significant places. I’ve got plenty of “real” art and “real” craft from around the world at home, but I’ve also got a resin replica of the Romulus/Remus/Wolf mother statue I bought in Rome on my desk, which probably does more to make me say “Ah, Rome – I should go back there some day” than any other Rome-related art object or book I have. It made me think about snowglobes, picture-frames, fridge magnets and other kinds of tourist tat: do they do a better job of connecting people to historical places than “fine” or “high” art reminders? Perhaps what Old Oswestry actually needs are Old Oswestry snowglobes, fridge magnets and other forms of modern-day “flatbacks”?

Anyway, we can fight about that at a later date! Speaking of which, we didn’t set a date or location for our next meeting. July is a bit complicated for a number of people, but so far we’re looking at the very last Wed in the month – the 31st – as a possibility. Get in touch with myself or Debbie to let us know if this might suit, and we’ll fix a date and be back in touch within the next week or so.

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Bank Holiday Art & Craft Fair!

poster_3_smNext weekend is the Underhill Farm Art & Craft Fair, at Underhill Farm in Pant, nr. Llanymynech. We’ve got a great group of artists, who are not just exhibiting – but demonstrating and running activities as well! It’s going to be a great weekend, with the chance to see new works by Gill Crozier, Jim Heath, Jude Greaves, and Tony Roberts, among others.

It’s also a chance to work alongside people like Wilf Thust, Dorothy Harrison, Diana Baur in a series of workshops and family art activities running all through the weekend. Plus there will be craft workshops and demonstrations, music, a cafe and more!

So, looking for somewhere to take the grandkids this weekend? Want to get out and watch local artists and crafters exploring this hidden corner of the Borderlands? Head down to Underhill Farm for a great three days!

Here are directions to Underhill Farm, plus a map. Postcode reference for sat.nav. is: SY10 9RB.

Getting ready for Underhill

Winding tower, Llanymynech Quarry (colour study) - John S., 2012

Winding tower, Llanymynech Quarry (colour study) – John S., 2012

Underhill Art and Craft Weekend

Underhill Farm, Pant nr. Llanymynech

May 4, 5, 6

Here’s another date for your diary: Inside Out is helping put on an art and craft weekend at Underhill Farm, by Llanymynech Rocks in Pant on the first bank holiday in May.

There will be an indoor and outdoor exhibition, and opportunities for artists to run demonstrations, activities and half-day courses over the weekend. The weekend should feel like a combination of our original “Inside Out” outdoor exhibitions in Llanarmon in 2008 and 2009, and the National Libraries Day event we did in Oswestry Library a fortnight ago.

There are about eight of us already on board, already working on projects based on or inspired by the farm and its surroundings. Gill Crozier has been painting in the quarry, John Swogger’s been drawing a lot of the industrial features in the quarry and planning some half-day heritage drawing courses, Wilf Thust is doing something exciting and mysterious involving tree branches, white paint and ultraviolet lights, Dorothy Harrison has been eyeing the large pile of clay at the farm and thinking about fired earth and landscape, Jude Greaves and Tony Roberts are going to hopefully do some stone carving and glass demonstrations over the weekend, and Steve Evison and his permaculture crew are going to be doing interesting things mixing together sustainability and art.

Over the next two months we’ll be posting more about what individual artists are doing, as well as posting more detail about how the weekend is shaping up.

If you’re interested in getting involved, then start talking to me as soon as possible! We’ll need to start fixing demonstration and exhibition space around the farm sooner rather than later. Come along to the notebook meeting on Wed., March 6th at The Willow Gallery at 2pm when we’ll be talking a bit about how the weekend is shaping up.

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