Tag Archive: Rowanthorn

Mind, Body & Spirit – venue update

mandala_1We’re sorry to have to report that EnergyCreative yoga studios on Beatrice Street is having to close. Apparently they just weren’t able to make the business side work well enough to justify leasing the space.

This means that the Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition is now located in Rowanthorn Fair Trade Clothing and Gifts only. Because of the number of works submitted for the exhibition, I’ll be rotating them through over the course of the show. At present, the exhibition includes works by:

  • Diana Baur
  • Ann Spence
  • Joan Santana
  • Maddy Vale
  • Derek Kelly
  • John Swogger
  • Mandy Whitehouse
  • Sandra Tickle
  • Jacqui Dodds

Next month, they’ll be joined by works by Kate Callaghan-Evans, Jude Greaves, Tony Roberts and Ted Roberts.

Do stop into Rowanthorn in Chapel Court, Oswestry (just opposite Milano’s cafe) and have a look upstairs at the exhibition. It looks good, and will feature in the Oswestry Advertiser next week.

Inside Out – coming soon!

IMG_0211We’ve already got a full schedule of events and exhibitions for the rest of the year. We discussed some of them at the meeting yesterday – here’s a summary of what’s coming soon:

  • Mind, Body & Spirit – The exhibition is now up in Rowanthorn, and should be up in EnergyCreative next week. We’ve had one short note in the Oswestry Advertiser about the exhibition this week, and we’re getting a longer article and a photograph in next week’s ‘Tizer. As the exhibition lasts for three months, we’ll be switching some of the work around half-way through (mid-July). There are fifteen artists taking part at the moment, but if anyone else wants to take part, please get in touch, as the mid-July switch-over will give you a chance.
  • Rowanthorn – Mike at Rowanthorn is looking for other exhibitions to take over after the Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition finishes in September. He’s particularly looking for interesting and intriguing work  – stuff that’s a bit different. He had work in the shop by Jim Fox earlier this year – really unusual constructions made out of skulls, bone and dolls, and is looking for similarly off-beat works. Anyone interested, get in touch with Mike directly.
  • Creepy House, Oswestry Library – The library’s Summer Reading Challenge theme is “Creepy House”. There’s an activity day scheduled for July 13th, when an illustration/construction creepy house will be drawn/built in the library. The library will be providing all the necessary materials. Anyone interested in taking part should let us know and then come along to the library on July 13th. I’ll post more details later in the month.
  • Ceiriog, at The Hand at Llanarmon, Llanarmon D.C. – We’re installing the last part of our year-long exhibition on the Ceiriog Valley and River at The Hand. This third part is themed: Ceiriog: Past, present and future. The exhibition will last through the summer. Anyone still wanting to take part should get in touch in the next couple of weeks.
  • Art & Poetry, Oswestry Library – Next National Libraries Day is in February 2014, and we’re thinking of doing something connecting local art and local poetry. Collaborations, partnerships, connections – there are a whole bunch of ideas about how we might bring art and poetry together. We’ll definitely be doing another art day in the library in February, and we’ll set up some kind of exhibition beforehand. Nothing’s set in stone yet – we’re going to be thinking about this idea through the summer, so if you have any suggestions, do get in touch.
  • Underhill Farm – Lots going on at the farm, including pretty elaborate plans to build kilns to fire the local clay. Plus Paul Stocking’s bamboo arch has been sited next to the newly-planted willow wood, and Wilf’s “Woodline” continues to evolve as the seasons change. Plenty of reasons for return visits through the summer – and we’re planning to hold July’s Inside Out meeting at the farm again, just so everyone gets another chance to spend some time at the farm. We’re also planning some more art and activity days through the summer, and we’ll continue to talk about ideas for next year’s Art & Craft event, including the suggestion that we should build some kind of “symposium” into the event.


  • Our July meeting will be at Underhill Farm, and we’re hoping that Brenda Sandilands will spend some time talking about her recent work. The remainder of the time we’ll spend doing some art!
  • Our August meeting will be at Wilf Thust’s Studio, and he’ll be showing some ideas for fixing and exhibiting, rather as he did at his workshop at The Willow last year.

As usual, meetings are at 2pm on the first Wednesday of the month.

Sketching Days:

We’ve no sketching days planned, but I was wondering if we might want to do a market-town day in Oswestry, perhaps? If so, we could tie it into the Mind, Body & Spirit exhibition and sit for a while outside Rowanthorn – it’s lovely there in the sunshine. Anyway, just an idea; we’ll keep you posted.

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!

Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade: sustainable development for marginalised producers, workers and their communities, based on ideals of equity and transparency.

Did you know that Oswestry was declared a Fairtrade Town  in 2006 and 2007? I must admit, I didn’t.

But the truth is that Oswestry has a lot of small, independent retailers (and big supermarkets) who actively stock Fairtrade foods and goods. Some of the cafes in Oswestry make a point of only serving Fairtrade tea and coffee.

A few weeks ago wondered on this blog if anyone was interested in doing a small Art Works project to do with the shops in Oswestry that stock Fairtrade products. Well, it turns out that the two weeks between Monday, February 25 and Sunday, March 10th next year is Fairtrade Fortnight – a two-week long festival across Britain dedicated to raising awareness of Fairtrade products and the Fairtrade ideal. Following my blog post two weeks ago, the Oswestry Advertiser got in touch and said that they would be very interested in following any art project Inside Out might do relating to Fairtrade in Oswestry.

So, what about it? Is anyone interested in putting together a series of Fairtrade-inspired artworks perhaps for exhibition in and around Fairtrade shops in Oswestry during Fairtrade Fortnight in 2013?

I’d certainly be up for this – and we can coordinate both with The Fairtrade Foundation‘s national campaign as well as initiatives and events run by the Oswestry and District Fairtrade Group. Anyone else who’s interested, post a comment to the blog – or come along to next month’s Notebook Meeting at the Willow Gallery (Wed., Nov. 7th at 2pm) and we can have a brief chat about it then.

The art of Cooperation

The coop’s new comic book – image from the Cooperative, via The Guardian

I’ve always been a big supporter of the cooperative ideal – and I’ve been a member of various cooperatives since I was a kid. Nowadays, you can shop in a cooperative supermarket and bank with a cooperative bank – but did you know you could watch a match played by a cooperative football team? (Barcelona FC, apparently – as well as the Green Bay Packers American Football team in the US) Or drink cooperative-produced cranberry juice? (Ocean Spray) In fact, did you know that more people work for cooperatives than for multinationals?

There’s a lot I don’t know about the cooperative movement (I didn’t know there was a Co-Operative political party, for example) and I’m clearly not the only one. To help raise awareness of all that they do, the cooperative movement have turned to art: releasing a comic book and a film about the movement, its history, its ideals and its potential.

2012 is the 168th anniversary for Britain’s Cooperative stores, and there have, over the years, always been plenty of art-based events that celebrate its principles. Back in May, the FutureEverything festival celebrated the “extraordinary artistic and political possibilities” of advances in technology, explicitly linking together art and the political radicalism of the cooperative movement. And Young Cooperatives have been using art competitions to raise awareness of Fair Trade and other cooperative enterprises.

We have a number of small independent shops in Oswestry which stock Fair Trade and other goods produced by cooperatives – Rowanthorn, Honeysuckle, The Gates, and I’m sure there are others. Is there any way we could, under the Art Works banner, help use our art to celebrate and promote awareness in Oswestry?

Anitya: Sensation (vedana)

The second print in my series Anitya is up now in Rowanthorn. Mike has some handouts with further information on the print and the series, if you’re interested.

Thanks to everyone who’s visited for the interesting comments on the first two prints in the series. The style of the prints is something of a departure for me, and an attempt to fuse two very different traditions together. It’s been great to be able to use Rowanthorn as a space to exhibit an experimental piece like this.

Archangel Michael – detail from an icon by Aidan Hart. via http://www.aidanharticons.com

The golden work of Shropshire-based icon painter and sculptor Aidan Hart have been featured at Rowanthorn on Beatrice St. in Oswestry for several months now, but this weekend was the first time I’d been in there for a proper look. Mike Coppick gave me a brief tour of the icons by Aidan Hart he has up for sale – small-scale reproductions made – appropriately enough – near Mt. Athos, in Greece.

Aidan Hart is member of the Orthodox Church and has been painting professionally for Orthodox churches across the world since the early 1980s. He is founder and tutor to the Diploma in Icon and Wall Painting run by The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, London. His spiritual training has included two years spent on Mount Athos in Greece, primarily studying at the Holy Monastery of Iviron.

Mike has assembled a fantastic collection of reproductions for sale. These are beautifully done, preserving the rich colours and delicate linework of Aidan’s traditional technique. But there is a twist: many of the icons for sale feature English and Welsh saints, like St. David and St. Melangell. 

Stop in for a look next time you’re in Oswestry – for the icons; for the inspiration! The wall of icons has already prompted me to start on a new work – Stasis – which I’ll be exhibiting in Rowanthorn in the New Year as part of our ongoing Art Works partnership.

John Swogger has an exhibition of new prints at Rowanthorn on Beatrice St. in Oswestry, under the title of “Anitya”. The series of five prints will be exhibited one each month between now and December. John’s prints join paintings by Diana Baur as part of an “Art Works” partnership with Rowanthorn.

John’s prints explore the Buddhist concept of “Anitya”, or impermanence, with particular reference to culture, photography and Tibet. The prints draw their inspiration from the eastern flavour of Rowanthorn and the Tibetan and fair trade-sourced gifts, artwork and clothing Mike has in the store, as well as his own background as an archaeological illustrator. There’s more on the prints here.

Anitya – new prints by John G. Swogger
one each month: August – December, 2012
Rowanthorn, Beatrice St., Oswestry

Oswestry Beatrice Street Site

Beatrice Street - the Carnaby Street of Oswestry?

Mike at Rowanthorn (where we’ve got Inside Out art up on display) has put together a great little mini-website for Beatrice St. in Oswestry, with details of all the shops and businesses along it.

What a great idea! It gives the street its own identity, and makes it feel like the kind of place you’d want to shop.

Oswestry in general could learn a thing or two from this site – and it’s the kind of thing other streets and places in Oswestry should be doing, too.

Nice one, Mike!

Painting for Rowanthorn

The Death of Tigranes - John Swogger, 2011

Paintings and prints for Rowanthorn beginning to collect. This is mine – not framed yet. There’s a little bit more about it on my own blog.

I’m working on getting some foundation students from North Shropshire College to show some work there. I’ll be hanging work sometime in the next few weeks.

If anyone else is interested in exhibiting in Rowanthorn, there are still some of the 50x50cm spaces left. Leave a comment if you’d like a slot.

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