Wiltshire Publications

Issue 527 – Art on show in Dilton Marsh & Westbury for the 2011 Wylye Valley Art Trail

LOCAL artists will be opening up exhibitions in the area as they take part in the Wylye Valley Art Trail this year.

The trail, which runs from Saturday 28th May to Sunday 5th June, is a nine-day festival of visual art and craft in and around the Wylye Valley, providing a unique opportunity for people to visit open studios, exhibitions and galleries, as well as the chance to meet and talk to the artists and craftspeople.
This year over 280 artists are showing their work in 82 venues, following a meandering route through some of the South West’s most beautiful landscapes, market towns and villages, including Hindon, Mere, Tisbury, Warminster, Westbury, and villages in between. Exhibitions in the Westbury area include sculpture, painting, pottery and much more, and there’s even the chance to have a go yourself in a workshop.
This is the sixth biennial Wylye Valley Art Trail which has been eagerly anticipated by artists and visitors alike. Nick Andrew, the founder and co-ordinator of the art trail says,“There has always been a lot of interest and support for the Wylye Valley Art Trail from the local community and visitors from further afield. A great attraction is the discovery of so much creative skill and talent, hidden away in our beautiful landscape. One of the aims of the event this year is to give a boost to all these small creative businesses during this difficult financial climate. We also hope that, with the increase in numbers of visitors during the 9 days, there will be an additional benefit to other local businesses such as pubs, cafes and shops.”
Dilton Marsh artist Gerry Sissons, has taken part in the trail in previous years and says the free trail is always very popular with artists and visitors alike. “The art trail attracts a very large number of visitors and is an ideal opportunity for artists to showcase their work, as well as giving them an opportunity to interact with their visitors. In turn, visitors are able to speak with the artists, in many cases see their studios, and can often learn something about how an artwork is created (either by demonstrations or by asking questions) – this is not always possible when purchasing art from a gallery or shop.
“One WVAT regular told me he preferred to buy artwork on ‘The Trail’ because he considered the experience of meeting and talking with the artist before making a purchase somehow makes the chosen artwork extra special – there is a personal memory attached to it which, to him, makes the work more valuable.”
Pick up an Art Trail brochure free from Tourist Information Centres, libraries, arts centres, pubs, garages and many other locations. You will find details of where and when to see a wide range of high- quality visual arts, including painting, sculpture, print-making, furniture making, jewellery, installation, digital art, ceramics, photography, glass & textiles.
The website www.wvat. co.uk has all the information that can be seen in the brochure. In addition, there are links to artists’ own websites and the Wylye Valley Art Trail facebook page, which is regularly updated with lots more images and information.
Wylye Valley Art Trail is an artist-led, non-profit project, organised by an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

Local trail locations

• Trail number 53: Hazel Chapman, painting, and Derek Kinzett, sculpture. 9 Stormore, Dilton Marsh BA13 4BH.
Hazel Chapman moved from London to Dilton Marsh 30 years ago with her husband and twin daughters. The move from a bleak suburb to the beautiful Wiltshire countryside re-awoke a passion for art that had lain dormant since starting her family.
Her watercolour paintings represent the beauty of the surrounding countryside and flora, whilst her studies of old cottages and other buildings celebrate both the present and the fading past. Hazel has also undertaken commissions for portrayals of private houses for their owners.
Being a keen producer of home-made wines and preserves Hazel has also produced a comprehensive portfolio of exclusive designs, based on botanical studies, which can be printed as labels for jars or bottles. (She has also found the time to produce two more daughters!)
Derek Kinzett’s work has been described as beyond beautiful, stunning and spiritual.
In 2004 he launched ‘The Inner Spirit Collection’ of hand crafted life size wire sculptures, which has continued to grow in size and content. Derek’s work has gained recognition and respect for its intricacy and detail, receiving commissions from clients such as Tim Green of the Tate Gallery, Lord Ethan Stewart and the actor Nicolas Cage. Derek concluded his term as the ‘artist in residence’ at Newstead Abbey in Nottingham, for 2009. completing four specially commissioned wire sculptures for the Abbey’s stunning Rose Garden, and more recently was the winner of the 2010 Showborough House Sculpture Exhibition, “People’s Prize”.

• Trail number 54: Gerry Sissons, Mixed Media, Paintings, Prints, Installation. 6 Dutts, Dilton Marsh, BA13 4BP.
Gerry Sissons explains, “I am a visual artist living in Dilton Marsh. I attended a series of part-time art courses for adults at Trowbridge College and went on to gain a BA (Hons) degree from Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2005. Described as unique, intriguing and thought-provoking, my artwork is inspired by the invisible ‘activity’ that surrounds us: the spiritual; the atmospheric; and the electronic transfer of data through the airwaves.  My art is my visual interpretation of the intangible, the inaccessible and the incomprehensible. Unable to find a suitable medium to convey this concept, and after much experimentation, I developed my own raw material with which to work – a material and technique that is unique to me and which now forms the basis of the media I use today.
“Using this material, I create installations, wall hangings and framed works, often photographing abstract sections and using the resulting images to produce a range of giclée prints and greetings cards.  I also use the material with mixed media, paintings and photographs to produce new images, many of which are also produced as giclée prints and greetings cards. During the art trail I will be exhibiting a wide range of both unusual and conventional work including an installation, paintings, mixed media, wall hangings and giclée prints, incorporating the unique material I have developed.”

• Trail number 55: Jenny Ford, painting and printmaking, Jan Knight, printmaking, painting, mixed media, Josephine Sumner, printmaking. 17 High Street, BA13 4DL.

Jenny Ford explains, “I have lived and worked in the Westbury area for many years and the Wiltshire landscape has been a major influence on my work. The colours of the earth, the changing seasons and weather patterns. It is an ancient landscape, shaped over hundreds of years by farmers tilling the soil and grazing their stock on the hills. Terraces and ancient earthworks are visible on the downs, leaving linear patterns that gives Wiltshire its character. I have a great interest in the pre-history of the area which is reflected in my most recent work. I mostly work as a printmaker and during the art trail we will be offering ongoing demonstrations of printmaking, from making blocks and plates, to printing the finished works.”
Jan Knight explains, “I trained as an art teacher in London some years ago. Some years later I left teaching to refocus my own work by way of an HNC art & design course and by revisiting printmaking at Putney School of Art. In 2004, I moved from London to Wiltshire. Since then, I have continued with printmaking and fine art at Wiltshire College in Trowbridge and Corsham on an advanced study programme.
By immersing myself in the Wiltshire landscape, discovering the topography and contours of this fascinating area, I have been keen to record ideas, drawings and designs in a series of workbooks; these I use as a constant reference in the quest towards a final piece of work. Inspired by the European Cubist and Expressionist movements, I also owe a debt to C20th British art movements like the St Ives Group; thus a number of influences, past and present, have been instrumental in the development of a mixed media and abstracted approach to my work.
The work I am showing at venue 55 is based on the Wiltshire landscape and the Kennet & Avon Canal locks. I have used my own ‘prepared papers’: these papers are painted, textured and then used in the production of collages. Often I add my own printed elements such as collagraph, relief and screen prints but, on occasions, the final piece can simply be a print in its own right. At other times, I use previous experiments in print and collage to produce paintings.”
Josephine Sumner is a professional illustrator and practising printmaker, currently living in Devizes. Born in Oxford, she studied graphic design at Nene College, Northampton (now part of the University of Northampton) and worked as a graphic designer before turning to illustration full time in 1988. In 2004, she rediscovered printmaking using relief techniques such as linocut and woodcut.
Inspiration comes from various influences; Japa-nese woodcuts, French Art Deco, wood engraving from the first half of the 20th Century and ethnic art. She has a passionate love for animals and as a result, has produced a series of vibrant linocut and woodcut prints exploring the extraordinary variety that exists in the natural world. Each print is individually handmade using several separate “blocks” for each colour. The separate blocks have to be registered correctly onto the paper each time a print is made.
In 2007 and 2010, her work has been selected for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London, and in 2009, her print, Silverback, won the St Cuthbert’s Mill Award at the Society of Wildlife Artist’s annual exhibition held at the Mall Galleries, London. She exhibits regularly in Oxford with the Oxford Printmakers, of which she is a member, and in London with the Society of Wildlife Artists. She is also a member of The Association of Illustrators (AOI).
>> At this trail location, there is also the chance to have a go at producing a mono-print yourself: this is a simple process of applying ink and working a plate to create an image; then make your print by using a hand-burnishing technique or by using a press. Suitable for beginners or those looking to further their experience, booking essential: 01373 824113. Fee £5 for a 2-hour session.

• Trail number 56: Paul Elloway, sculpture, dra-wings. The Studio, Shepherd’s Purse, Penleigh, Dilton Marsh BA13 4EA.

Paul Elloway explains, “I have enjoyed drawing and making sculpture all my life.
“After art school and spending time working as the sculptor in the Bull Mill Group I worked in the building industry in order to keep myself and my family. I am a founder member of the Penleigh Drawing Group which was started over 25 years ago. I have exhibited in the Royal West of England annual open exhibition on several occasions as well as the Black Swan. Local venues include the Atheneum, The Merlin Theatre, Natwest Bank, and Doddington House.
“Commissions include life-sized figures for the Chelsea Flower Show. I have both drawings and sculptures in private collections. During this year’s Wylye Valley Art Trail I will be working in my recently build studio. The open studio enables visitors to see ideas worked through drawings and maquette to the finished piece. Recent work incl-udes small bronzes and tactile plaster pieces, as well as a range of life drawings in various media.”

• Trail number 57: Trevor Pictor, pottery. White Horse Pottery, Newtown, Westbury BA13 3EE.

Trevor Pictor has been working in the Pottery since 1990. He trained under Stephen Humm and has been working independently since 2001.
Trevor is a local man and is glad to continue the ‘tradition of old’ in Westbury. (Westbury was mentioned in the Doomsday book as having a pottery).
Trevor’s desire is to create pots that look and feel complete in themselves. He considers pots to be like people, they have a head, shoulders, waist and belly. They are all different and have their own character. Trevor also makes other items such as vases, kitchen and table ware, and tiles.
Visitors to the pottery are able to see Trevor at work. There is something fascinating about the way pottery is produced, not a lot has changed about it for the last 2000 years. Two big concessions made to modern times are his electric wheel and the gas kiln. Trevor works with red Earthenware clay and produces a wide variety of terracotta and glazed pots, everything is hand thrown on the wheel.

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