Tag Archive: Jas Davidson


Making it up as we go along!

Like it was made yesterday - Inside out art activity day at Oswestry Library. Soon to be a regular event?

Like it was made yesterday – Inside out art activity day at Oswestry Library. Soon to be a regular event?

Another great art activity day at Oswestry Library timed to coincide with Apple Day on the Bailey Head and the culmination of this year’s “Oswestry Makes” festival.

Well-supplied with almost twenty kilos of scrap fabric (courtesy of Inside Out’s favourite mystery artist) Sue Mann, Freja and myself set up two tables at the front of the library and spent four enjoyable hours creating. We had a steady stream of kids through the morning, making costumes with Freja, sewing apples with Sue, and making rag plaits with me. By the end of the afternoon we’d turned out waistcoats and wizard capes, two branches worth of fabric apples (now hanging up by the Poe-tree display) and ten metres of rag plait!

Outreach is an important part of what it means to be an artist. Locking oneself and ones creativity away can end up being a bit selfish. It’s important to recognise that if we want to be part of the community at large, we have to get out into that community sometimes. Galleries and open studios and exhibitions are all very well, but these venues can still be very intimidating and alien spaces to some people, despite the best intentions of artists. The “outside” part of Inside Out is about getting art (and artists) “out there” – getting art in shops, like our Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition; or outside shops, like Marja’s and Jim’s murals; or above shops – like Jas‘ sculptures; in places like pubs – like Geoff’s digital photo exhibition in The Griffin; or in the library – like our Art and the Word exhibition for National Libraries Day.

This was only our second time doing an activity day like this in the library, so we’re still learning – learning how to best set up and publicise the events, how to organise them and structure them, and what sort of materials and activities work best. I’m now putting a lot of this garnered wisdom together and will be liaising with Debbie at the Library to organise these activity days into a regular, possibly monthly event – and you’re all welcome to get involved! Of course, not all of us are cut out to be teachers, but in a group it’s easy to take part at your own pace and in your own way. And what’s great about having different artists get involved is that each brings their own, unique take to the activity.

So I’ll be posting more information about this new “Make and Do” project soon. In the meantime, anyone interested in getting involved should get in touch!

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Jolly Good Show!

Oswestry Show! All pix from Freja.

Thanks to everyone who helped make yesterday an excellent day at the Oswestry Show!

A very big thank you to Louise Hudson and D.R.E. & Co. Accounting, who kindly offered us half their pitch after hearing me talk about Art Works at the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce meeting. Thanks to Jim Heath, Judy Greaves, Jas Davidson, Diana Baur, Rob Baur and Freja who helped get everything set up at a very early 8am in the morning. And thanks to all the Inside Out artists who stopped by and drew, painted, sketched and carved in front of the marquee. Particular thanks to Freja for the invigorating and delicious chocolate/coffee/rum fairy cakes – which vanished so fast I almost didn’t get any!

Everyone was very complimentary about our set-up – and, I think, surprised at the link-up between an accounting firm and an art group. It was an extremely successful partnership – D.R.E & Co. got something interesting in front of their marquee, and Inside Out got a chance to exhibit at the show for free. Not only were we highly visible, and gave out loads of leaflets about the group and our projects – but we also came away with a handful of commissions: proof that if you get yourself out there and make yourself visible, that people will – and do – take an interest in you and your work.

We all had a great day – despite the fact that at quarter to four, the heavens opened and we were hammered with rain and hail. More importantly, we had a very successful day, too. Thanks again to everyone who made it work – and let’s start making plans for next year!

 

Willow Spring Show!

Inside Out at the Willow Gallery

Great new exhibition has just opened up at The Willow Gallery. Their Spring Show features some fantastic painting, ceramics and sculpture. As usual, Faye has set out an extremely eclectic and diverse show – setting some extremely accomplished figurative works alongside bold abstracts.

Jas Davidson (BVA/Inside Out) and John Wragg (BVA/Inside Out) are in the main gallery – John with large, Op Art-like geometric paintings and Jas with the latest in his series of bronzes mixing the human form with natural textures. They’re joined by Rosie Davies (Inside Out), whose watercolour landscapes are moving further into abstraction of form and colour, and looking both crisp and free at the same time.

Jim Heath and Des Jones are also exhibiting in the Dunbabin Gallery & Community Room for the next three weeks. They are two of our three Studio A1 featured artists for April – Joan Santana is the third, exhibiting down at Studio A1 – and the first of what we hope will be a regular series of Inside Out artists exhibiting in the Dunbabin Gallery.

So although it’s a grey day on the Shropshire borderlands today, there’s plenty of bright art in Oswestry!

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