Tag Archive: Oswestry art

Jim Heath at Oswestry Library

Guarding the Stairs - Jim Heath.

Guarding the Stairs – Jim Heath.

Jim Heath is holding two art events at Oswestry Library this month:

Meet The Artist: Friday 24th May 11am -1pm. A chance to meet local artist Jim Heath and talk to him about his May exhibition of acrylic paintings of RNLI stations around the country.

Painting with acrylic inks: Thursday 30th May 10am-3pm. Workshop – charge: £30. For those with experience as well as beginners. Bring sketchbooks/sources of inspiration. Boards, inks, brushes/tools will be provided. Please book and pay for your place via Oswestry Library 01691 677388. Tea and coffee provided. Bring and share lunch.

Two great events – particularly for anyone wanting to introduce someone to working with acrylic inks, or wanting to have a go themselves. Please pass the dates around to people you think might be interested!


Thing That Go Bump at Oswestry Library

Even more Inside Out at Oswestry Library!

Even more Inside Out at Oswestry Library!

Great to see everyone at yesterday’s Notebook Meeting at John’s studio. A couple of things we didn’t get around to talking about regarding Inside Out art at Oswestry Library:

  • This autumn, there’s going to be a Textile Festival in Oswestry, and Inside Out has been asked to take part. With Debbie at the Library, we’ve organised a Textile Art Activity Day at Oswestry Library on Saturday, October 19th. This will be very much the same as our National Libraries Day event in February – we’ll set up tables and do various art activities to do with textiles, fabric, wool, string, etc. We already have some scrap fabric collected, but if anyone has scrap fabric they can donate to the day, you know we’ll make good use of it!
  • Secondly, Debbie emailed to say that the library is running a Keep Reading scheme through the summer, and the theme is “Creepy Houses”. If anyone has any art that relates to the theme, or any art activities that might relate to the theme, then get in touch. We can find exhibition space around the library for art, and we can liaise with Debbie for a day-slot for activities.
  • Finally, don’t forget our ongoing Art & the Word exhibition at the rear of the library. We’re continuing this until the end of the year, and this is the place for any book-, text- or word-related art – including book illustrations, illustrated poems, etc. – that you might produce. (Speaking of illustrated poems, does anyone do creative writing or poetry? Perhaps there’s an opportunity for some collaboration?)

Inside Out: Mind, Body & Spirit

mandala_1The Inside Out Group has been invited to take part in a new Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition in Oswestry.

The exhibition is open to any artist, any media – restricted only to things that hang on walls. Works should be under 1.5 x 1.5M (maximum). Hanging space will be made available on a first come, first served basis. Works can be for sale or just for exhibition. The show will run between June 1 and Sept 1. Works should relate to the theme of “Mind, body & spirit” in some way. Spirituality, yoga, meditation, etc. are all possible subjects which could be explored.

Anyone interested should come along to the Notebook Meeting tomorrow, which will be in John’s studio in The Cambrian Studios Building, first floor. We’ll be discussing this exhibition, plus the Underhill Art & Wild Craft Fairour ongoing Art & The Word exhibition at Oswestry Library, our Ceriog exhibition at The Hand at Llanarmon, plus other projects in Oswestry. See you there!

More Art & The Word at Oswestry Library

Making Oswestry Library a real local arts hub!

Making Oswestry Library a real local arts hub!

Our Art & the Word exhibition at Oswestry Library has moved – and expanded! We’re now occupying the area immediately above the computers between the DVD racks and the kids’ reading area – directly opposite the main desk.

The exhibition has both 2- and 3-D works by Aimee Henderson, Rob Baur, Diana Baur, Freja Evans and John Swogger. The exhibition of book- and word-related art will last all year, and works will be rotated in and out as people bring them to me. I’m hoping that later in the summer we’ll have an exhibition on some of the work from Underhill Farm and Holy Trinity School. I’m also hoping that we can do something book/word/Christmas related for December.

Debbie at the Library said that people have been extremely enthusiastic about the exhibition, and positive comments still come in about our event for National Libraries Day. The library are now actively encouraging anyone with any interest in doing art workshops, demonstrations, working days or activities in the library to come and talk to them. There is working space available for rent in the library building for one-day workshops, and they can always find space for demonstrations or working days.

I’m also now setting up a Word Art Roundtable for anyone who’s interested in taking part in a regular get-together at Oswestry Library to work on book-/word-/library- related art. Please email and/or comment on this post if this sounds like your thing. I’d like to start in May.

Show us The Way

Show us The Way, Geoff!

Show us The Way, Geoff!

Geoff’s been busy – here’s his photo collage board he produced for “The Way” up now in the old Oswestry Station foyer.

As Geoff has also proved with his photo slideshow in The Griffin, there are potential exhibition slots all over the place, you just have to look – and ask. Most people are happy to accommodate a piece of artwork in a shop or similar. In fact, as we found out at Oswestry Show last year, most people are more than happy to to provide artists with just such an opportunity.

So if you spot a blank wall somewhere – ask if you can stick something up on it!

library_picAn email came through this afternoon with a big thank you from all the staff at Oswestry Library to everyone who helped make our National Libraries Day event work so well. The library collected feedback from everyone who came. Lots of really positive comments, and some of the most frequent were:

It was fun…

We learnt something new today…

We would come to a similar event…

Debbie says that staff also had a great time – and really enjoyed the atmosphere on the day.

If anyone has any ideas for future events at the Library, just speak up – the Library would love to have us back! Here’s to helping to make the Oswestry Library a real hub for local arts!

John, Rob and Paul at Radio Cafe

"Underground" from the series 'Signals' - 2010, John S. Now up in Radio.

“Underground” from the series ‘Signals’ – 2010, John S. Now up in Radio.

The first group of Inside Out artists’ work is now up at Radio Cafe in Oswestry. John S., Rob Baur and Paul Stocking all have works hanging in the cafe for the next couple of months.

Saffron is keen to keep the art rotating through the cafe, and so will be changing the hanging regularly. This is not, however, an open invitation for a “current work” hanging – instead, Saffron would like to see artists come forward with works that suit the cafe’s style and atmosphere and explores or responds to the themes suggested by the cafe and the former radio shop from which it takes its name. The prints that I have hanging in the cafe, for example, are from the “Signals” series, about different lines of communication.

Anyone interested in exhibiting in Radio should stop by and talk to Saffron (bringing with you some examples of your work).

Art and loud noise

Industrial electronic rock - with a local twist.

Art for “Awesome Zombie Ants”: an homage to 1950s horror comics – John Swogger, 2013.

Anyone else a fan of local Oswestry band “Awesome Zombie Ants“? Another art/music project by Neil “366 Teeshirts” Phillips. The band’s sound is probably best described as “industrial electronic rock” – with a local twist. As well as having the coolest band name ever, they’re the only group I know who’ve done a song about Shropdoc.

They perform on a semi-regular basis at The Ironworks in Oswestry – also the venue for a host of Neil’s other projects – including 366 Teeshirts, Supermarket and the People’s Vinyl Collective.

I’ve posted a lot about the 366 Teeshirt project this past year, but that’s only one element of Neil’s creative milleaux. He’s someone who manages to integrate a whole host of creative people into the orbit of his projects – Kinokulture and FilmGrade doing video and films, musicians, bands and DJs via PVC, groups like OS21 and the Oswestry Community Orchard scheme, and local businesses like BrightBeadz, Cafe Radio and Smith’s Bakery who sponsored and promoted 366 Teeshirts. Neil’s the “Kevin Bacon” of art and music in Oswestry – connected to just about every event and every musician and artist around.

I know I’m beginning to sound like a stuck record, but I’ll say it again: if the arts are to survive and grow in this inhospitable climate – whether in Oswestry or nationally – they need to be more joined-up, more connected. We need more Neil Phillips-es, ideally!




Art for the Griffin

Art wanted at The Griffin in Oswestry!

Art wanted at The Griffin in Oswestry!

I’ve just had an email from Geoff Armitage saying that the works to the Dining Room of The Griffin Inn in Oswestry are complete.

Barry Edwards, who manages the music and art at The Griffin, has asked if there are any Inside Out artists interested in exhibiting in the Dining Room during February.

Anyone interested in taking up Barry’s offer, please get in touch as soon as possible. I can pass Barry’s email address on to you and you can talk to him directly.

366 and counting…

Thursday, 26th July 2012 - Teeshirt for the day from the brilliant "366 Teeshirts". via 366teeshirts.co.uk

Thursday, 26th July 2012 – Teeshirt for the day from the brilliant “366 Teeshirts”. via 366teeshirts.co.uk

How long does your art last?

I don’t mean how long will the print or photograph or painting be around, but how much continuous time do you spend within the creative execution of an artwork. Days? Weeks? I know some of my paintings can take months to complete – but still, that’s not continuous time spent with the work. In fact, in many respects, one of the key elements of art practice is learning how not to work – when to step away from a work to marshal creative thoughts and energies.

It’s easy to dismiss Neil Phillips’ 366 Teeshirts as a naive piece of one-hit-wonder art-jam, a kind of wearable cultural heckling. But the truth is that Neil is the only creative person I’ve ever met who has – literally – spent an entire year inside his art. What came across so clearly in last night’s “An Audience with 366 Teeshirts” was the sheer daily weight of this project. Every day, he became part of whatever was printed on his teeshirt, and the consequent conversations and interactions the daily slogan provoked. Courgettes, swans, cupboards, the price of biscuits – Neil’s captured snatches of innocuous household conversations seemed to unlock days of debates about immigration, celebrity culture and local economics.

How many of us provoke this kind of reaction to our paintings and photographs on a daily basis? How many of us live inside the same artwork day in, day out for an entire unbroken year? Neil’s deadpan modesty hides an astonishing commitment – all the more so for unquestionably still living in the real world, complete with family, job and slug-ravaged garden, all of which were woven into the fabric (yes, pun intended) of his art. What’s more, as last night’s event also proved, this was an art project which drew into its interactive orbit all sorts of other creative minds, like film-makers, web designers, musicians, as well as a cross-section of some of Oswestry’s most distinctive local businesses.

I’m completely jealous of Neil and his 366 teeshirts project. This, for me, is what art should be about: something surprising and immersive, something that outlasts the obvious thing you first see, something bigger than itself that is embedded within the real world. Neil shrugged last night at the failure of his project to “go viral” – but it has gone viral. 366 Teeshirts isn’t over just because Neil’s now wearing “ordinary” shirts again; the project is spawning new ideas and new iterations – 366 the album, 366 pants (no, probably not), etc. “That should be on a teeshirt” is now part of the Oswestry creative vernacular – Neil’s original concept has now escaped the confines of his own project and is evolving into… well, who knows?

Now that’s art.

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