Friday, May 25, 2012

Purbeck Art Weeks 26 May - 10 June

SPARKLING cultural celebrations shine on Purbeck in May and June with the 10th successive year of the Purbeck Art Weeks (PAW) Festival. The 2012 Festival galvanises a stellar line-up of regional and international artistic talent for 16 Festival days. Purbeck's creative showpiece takes place 26 May to the 10 June and spans the wider Royal Jubilee celebrations.

The PAW Festival has grown substantially over the past decade. This year's event celebrates an impressive cultural programme, encompassing visual art, music, film and story-telling. Drawing on the success of previous years, a major part of the 2012 Festival is the active involvement of Purbeck's Young Artists. This involves 12 -schools across the region, helping Purbeck school-children develop artistic expression and exhibit their work at Rollington Barn from the 26 May onwards. The theme this year is the Carnival of the Animals, which encompasses the fabulous musical suite written by French romantic composer, Camille Saint-Saens.
Purbeck is a timeless landscape of ever-changing colours. The region has attracted leading artists over the past 200-years drawn to the exceptional Jurassic Coast setting and unique light conditions available in the area. Artists range from distinguished landscape painter, Paul Nash to Toulouse Lautrec's contemporary, Charles Conder. Others captivated by Purbeck include Walter Field, Denis Lowson, Augustus John, Mark Gertler, Alfred Palmer, Graham Sutherland and Henry Tanworth Wells. Musicians included E.J. Moeran and Peter Warlock.
Nowadays Purbeck is experiencing a wider cultural renaissance. In recent years, many have noticed a St Ives effect taking hold and since 2002 the annual PAW Festival has developed a substantial following. In 2012 the Festival embraces such international names as:

• Author and TV/radio presenter, Melvyn Bragg, who gives a stirring talk about the cultural significance of the King James Bible.
• Oscar winning composer Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love) and his group performing some of his famous music scores.
• The world-renowned Gabrieli Consort & Players performing Handel's English Pastoral Acis & Galatea as well as a Handel oboe concerto.
• The lyrical Brahms Horn Trio performed by international classical musicians Miranda Fulleylove, Fergus McWilliam and Huw Watkins.
• Early Music Show presenter Lucie Skeaping joining fellow artists for a show on the theme of The Music of the Spheres.
• The rising stars of the Sacconi Quartet for a programme featuring Mozart, Beethoven and Bartok.
• Professional tuba players called 'YouTuba!' performing The Carnival of the Animals (the artistic theme for Purbeck Young Artists this year) and other works as well as opening the Festival in the grounds of Corfe Castle (26 May).
• Illustrated talks covering talented Dorset artist and Director of the Glasgow School of Art, Fra Newbery.
• Historian Philip Mansell opening his house at Smedmore to give a talk on 'Grand Tourists in the East: from Casano to Disraeli.'

During the 16 Festival days, over 50 local artists will open their studios showing their recent work. Many of the pieces displayed are directly inspired by Purbeck's unique geology, flora and fauna. Artists will also talk about their work at the Festival's central exhibition space: Rollington Barn near Corfe Castle. During the 16 days, blue and yellow PAW Festival signs guide visitors and residents to working studios where painters, printmakers, sculptors, ceramicists, illustrators, jewellers, textile artists and photographers will be on hand to explain their work. There will also be the opportunity in some cases to participate in creative workshops.
The Royal Jubilee will be honoured on Sunday 3rd June at the splendid Victorian Church, St James' Kingston, where international musicians, Mhairi Lawson (soprano) and Paula Chateauneuf (lutes), perform evocative music from the courts of Elizabeth I, James VI, Charles I, Charles II and William and Mary (including Dowland and Purcell compositions).

During the opening Weekend at Corfe Castle (26 May), the spectacular venue provided courtesy of the National Trust; a dazzling procession of brass, drums, flags and masks, followed by circus acts, jazz and stallholders offering tasty local food and produce, will triumphantly open the Festival. For the following 16 days there will be the chance to 'Crown the Castle' by helping recreate a gigantic stone-built Jubilee Crown. A similar commemorative showpiece was also a feature of Queen Victoria's Jubilee - the picture attached shows how it looked then.

The PAW 2012 Fringe offers an eclectic mix of established and emerging artists, fresh ideas, spontaneity and fun. It’s an opportunity to see exciting and entertaining work in an atmosphere that encourages taking a chance and discovering something new. Fringe events this year offer the chance to take part in a frockalicious bike ride to what is arguably the best pub in the world. Create a plasticine landscape inspired by the stunning Jurassic Coast. Help an environmental artist make patterns in the sand. Indulge in a bit of wild knitting. Photograph a Chococo dinosaur somewhere in the wilds of Purbeck. Listen to The Supernovas at The Legion. Enjoy Tapas while listening to Ansell & Gretel at Tawny’s Wine Bar. Equally, if you are mad about computers, please join in at the digital animation workshop. There's also the chance to find out why Shakespeare left his second best bed to his wife and hear Time & Tide telling tales on the Swanage sea front. Full Fringe information can be found at: and on the PAW Facebook page.

Festival President, Anthony Caro, OM CBE is delighted to lend his support, saying recently: 'Art is so important because it fuels the soul. It is an expression of who we are and what we are feeling. The range of artistic talent drawn to the Purbeck region is testament to the ongoing success of this important annual cultural event.' 'Purbeck Art Weeks Festival encourages young people to be adventurous and stimulates and informs an ever-growing national and regional audience drawn to the region.''It's a delight to see PAW celebrate its 10th anniversary. It's a grass roots cultural organisation run by enthusiastic volunteers supported by local businesses. It operates without large grants from local or central government and depends solely upon the support of the community it serves. Here's to many more years to come.'


The Postman said...

Bridget Wood as Mrs Shakespeare in her adaptation of the novel by Robert Nye.
Why did William Shakespeare bequeath his wife his second best bed?
To whom had he written a ‘Century worth of Sonnets’ and why?
What did he have to Celebrate in 1594?
“Bridget Wood’s warm bubbling performance gives us the answers to these questions. Her blend of no-nonsense wife and saucy lover paints a vivid picture in this entertaining and enjoyable ‘treasury of pleasures’ ”.
Bridget will be performing this delightful piece at The Isle of Purbeck Arts Centre, Swanage, BH19 1DF on Wednesday, May 30th, as part of the Purbeck Arts Week Festival. She has previously performed in venues throughout the country including the National Portrait Gallery, The Ellen Terry Memorial Theatre and the Edinburgh Festival.
She was told of the Festival’s intention to expand to include Drama by her childhood friend Carlotta Barrow, the Local Artist whose determination created the Swanage Art Trail. She is particularly thrilled to be returning to Dorset as for many years she lived a little further up the coast where she enjoyed a spectacular view of the Needles and the Isle of Wight.
Bridget has enjoyed a wide and varied spectrum of work throughout her career. Whilst still a student she played Fairy Peaseblossom in a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at the Old Vic Theatre in which Frankie Howard played Bottom. After working in Rep, she then went to the Edinburgh Festival with the Bristol Old Production of ‘Sappho’ and later played at the Pitlochrey Festival in Central Scotland; at the Mermaid Theatre in the ‘Long Sunset’ for Sir Bernard Miles; in an Oxford Playhouse production, ‘The Genius and the Goddess’ by Aldous Huxley, which came to the West End and at the National Theatre for Sir Peter Hall.
She met her husband Christopher Robbie when they were both working on Franco Zeffereli’s production of ‘Tosca’ in which Maria Callous played Tosca, at the Royal Opera House.
Now, living in the Village of Downe, indeed living just across the field from Down House where Charles Darwin lived and worked, has led to an interest him and his work. Her husband, Christopher Robbie, has a one man play about Charles Darwin and during the Bi-centenary Celebrations recently, together they played Charles and Emma Darwin for 3 films all made in and around Down House; One for BBC 3, one for Germany and one for Canada. Helping to take the Darwin Celebrations around the World!
Tickets at £7:50 will be available from the Tourist Information Centre in Swanage, and at the Arts Centre on the night (if there are still any left!)

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant lineup of great events!

Anonymous said...

I've had to banish my dustbin to a spot 20 metres from the house. It's hot. And the damn thing smells. No. It stinks. It happens every year. Sometimes, and this happens at least on a couple off occasions annually, the maggots are visible legging their way across the bin. Whenever this happens I recall how Purbeck distrixct council made the deciasion to adopt a fortnightly qwheely bin collection. And that is without any consultation with the public. Without any proper public knowledge that the dwecision was even being taken. Hardly anyone knew. And many would have been appalled. What I recall was that the present mayor of Swanage was the district council leader at the time. And that he repeatedly insisted on the secrecy that led to us not knowing that the council was adopting two week collec tions until councillors had voted on the question. Democracy? Smell my bin!

David Furmage said...

Hhmmm how has your smelly bin got anything to do with purbeck arts week?

Ted Stoat said...

Smell my cheese.

Anonymous said...

I know this bin. No, it has nothing to do with the PAW although it COULD be construed as a temporary art installation I suppose....

Anonymous said...

Alongside all the events during PAWF please visit a few of the open studios (open just for you!) Work is available for sale too - both small and large works in 2D + 3D, plus prints and cards...
In the majority, its a once in a year chance to see the workings of amazing Purbeck Artists. Enjoy!

(venue 21 with Moira Purver)