President: Anne Maw, Lord-Lieutenant
Patron: André Wallace
Greetings. Midsummer and the roses are abundant and it’s time for an update.
Trish Jones opened our season of talks on 18 February at our new venue, Trull Church Community Centre. Since then we have had two further talks, our AGM, a coffee morning hosted by Christine Marsh, and two painting days. Many of you will have by now seen the very fine Doris Hatt exhibition in the Museum of Somerset. Anna has sent out a reminder of the talk by Sarah Cox being offered us there at 2.30 on Wednesday 26 June (just before the exhibition closes). This is a first or further chance to enjoy Hatt’s particular patterned kind of modernism, which was enthusiastically reviewed in The Times (3 May).
Denys Wilcox, who played a key role in providing the works on show, has published an excellent book, The Art of Doris Hatt, which I can thoroughly recommend. (Half the sale price goes to the Somerset charity STAR which seeks to help children in care or need to find worthwhile ways of being creative.)
Our second talk (18 March) was given by Sara Dudman RWA, known to many of us as an enthusiastic and enabling teacher as well as an accomplished artist who risks new things. Her subject was Howard Hodgkin and she provided a perfect instance of how a young artist can be excited and inspired by an older experienced artist. It was one of those evenings which left me wanting to go off and paint there and then.
A month later Wayne Bennett, known to many people locally, Director of Dillington for 22 years, gave us a different kind of talk: on A Short History of Museums. It was packed with information and interesting things. He began in Tudor days and talked of the Hilliard miniatures before outlining the Earl of Arundel’s role in building up the royal collection in the C17. He gave us facts and lots of apt illustrations of art. One surprise was the Art Treasures of Britain exhibition of 1857 at Old Trafford, Manchester which included 16,000 works of art, and led to Engels saying, ‘everyone up here is an art lover,’ would that this was the case in Somerset today! Wayne gave our gallery hopes a touch of nobility – to help instil a love of art as we journey towards achieving our aim. His presentation was something of a feast which brought the story up to date with reference to new galleries at Walsall, Margate, and Wakefield.
Christine Marsh generously invited us back to Pegasus Court for a coffee morning (29 March) which raised about £110 thanks to the support of her fellow residents. Sadly only three members attended, including her, which was disappointing for the residents who wanted to know more about us.
Our AGM took place in the Brewhouse, in the workshop space nicely set out for us. We dealt with the things that we have to, before adjoining for a drink or a chat and going into the auditorium to see a film on Rembrandt based on an exhibition at the Rijksmuseum. It was good and as always Rembrandt stays fresh and amazing.
Some of us also saw the excellent Van Gogh and Japan film at The Brewhouse. It is worth looking out for art films on locally. We will pass on information about coming ones, when we can.
We have had two painting days, the first based in a room upstairs in the village hall at Bradford on Tone (22 May) and the second at Tami’s house in the foothills of the Blackdowns. Kevin Saunders ran the first and Tami hosted the second (12 June). There were four to six of us present. The joy of these occasions is that you can draw or paint what you like, outdoors or inside, in delightful and stimulating surroundings with like-minded people; chat over coffee, lunch, and tea; and share what you’ve done if you want to. It is a relaxed and good way of making art.
We have more talks in the autumn – see our programme – and are likely to be helping with the Youth Festival celebrating all sorts of arts (early November). And Ron Cann has generously donated two prints and a painting for our collection from his recent Library exhibition. We thank him very much. And my thanks to Christine and those who run our events. Have a good Summer.
With best wishes,