March 2106

Know your art from your elbow with the Swindon 175 Art trail


5th June 2016- 3rd July 2016


From the Swindon Art’s Trail website: ‘The Swindon Arts Trail will feature some of the very best art Made in Swindon, displayed at venues across the town. … Many of the artists featured draw inspiration from our industrial and urban heritage (Ken White, David Bent, David Robinson, Tim Carroll, Mark Worrall, Juliet Wood, The Visual Drop). Others highlight the natural beauty and open spaces to be found across Swindon (Beverley Greig, Caroline Day, Terry Humphries, Susan Carr).’

This listeners I’m really rather excited about. I might even have an art attack! 😉

Some of the artists featured in this art trail have been written about previously on this here Born again Swindonian blog.  I own prints and other items created by a number of them but others in this list are unknown to me so I’m looking forward to discovering their work.

I’ll tell you now of some of them I know and those I miss I’ll beg your pardon

Ken White: When I first set up this blog Ken White was one of the ‘things’ I featured in my 10 things to celebrate about Swindon. Ken is famed for his murals, all but one of the Swindon ones sadly now gone. He’s also the creator of Virgin’s iconic red lady emblem and a huge body of work related to Swindon and its GWR past. Indeed Ken began his working life ‘inside’ – as working in the GWR Works was referred to.

Caroline Day and the Town Garden’s Artist Group:  I got to know about Caroline’s work and about the group as a whole when it started appearing on my Facebook feed. Caroline kindly wrote me a lovely goest post back in 2014:

Tim Carroll:  I own a couple of pieces of Tim’s work. One that I think of as swimmers – it’s a sculptural sort of a piece -and the other is one of his 100 views of Swindon: the David Murray John Tower.

From the Swindon Advertiser: “… It all started with a vague notion of producing something completely different from his usual work, which often includes classically inspired themes or great leaps of imagination. He also quite fancied working outdoors.

Tim’s modus operandi is to make meticulously detailed drawings of street scenes in his sketchbook – which takes an average of three-and-a-half hours – before producing colourful acrylic or water colour versions back at his home studio.

He originally set himself a year to complete the project but it has taken much longer than anticipated.

Now he’s aiming for two years and two months – just in time for the 175 Swindon Art Trail which will feature several key local artists displaying images of the town at various venues to celebrate 175 years since the opening of the railway works and the beginning of modern Swindon.”

David Bent:I’ve only got to know David more recently. He’s very well-known as an aviation artist and that body of his work is the main thrust of this post: It features a nice little film clip of him talking about the beauty of aircraft design.

He does though of course have a huge body of other work – notably his Movement 2000 collection  – painted in 1999/2000 as an artistic response to the Balkan wars and the refugee crisis that created. And never was a thing more apposite than  now.

Here’s two of his Movement 2000 pictures:

See more in the post about David’s Movement 2000.

Working with the Harbour Project – The Harbour Project, in their art sessions, are exploring David’s work – in particular his use of symbolism in his “Movement 2000” paintings collection.

The hope is that they’ll exhibit some of the art work produced, alongside David’s, when he exhibits in Swindon Dance as part of refugee week, also in collaboration with Swindon175 and the Made In Swindon Art Trail.  For more about Dave and his work, visit or on Facebook:

That’s a really fabulous and exciting initiative and something for us all to celebrate as well as the art trail as a whole. In answer to the question: ‘What’s Swindon got in a the way of art?’ – rather a bloody lot frankly!

The Harbour Project: 

“At The Harbour Project we welcome and support refugees and asylum seekers in Swindon.

To those who’ve risked their lives, families and homes fleeing war and persecution, we provide friendship and hope for a future. With this purpose, we’ve been working tirelessly since the Kosovo crisis in 2000. Today, we’re aiding people from across the world.

We became a registered charity in 2003 when a small team of staff committed resources to running daily drop-in services, Monday to Friday. Whether it’s recreational activities, assistance with legal processes or help with social welfare, we’re still giving all we can to new visitors … “

On Facebook:

Swindon Dance: 

Swindon Dance is located in the heart of Swindon, where from its base in the town’s former Victorian Town Hall, it has for over three decades been a leading innovator in Dance Development in the UK.

Each year thousands of people of all ages and abilities Take Part in a comprehensive range of quality classes, project and performances. For many this will be a leisure pursuit and a fun pathway to health and well being but for many others Swindon Dance has provided a step into an amazing career in dance … “

On Facebook:

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