“A selection from this series, with some new paintings and oil pastels. Apart from portraits, the figurative scenes I paint are invented from sketchbook drawings, inspired by human interaction and sheer force of life which I often find in Swindon, a favourite urban subject.”
My 3rd and final visit yesterday was to Artsite and the Post Modern – where there’s always something of interest.
From the Swindon 175 art trail website:Artsite – ‘Who do we think we are? – Postcards of Swindon’
“An exhibition of local artist’s responding to Swindon’s urban landscape. Artsite is a catalyst for the visual arts in Swindon. Providing affordable studios, exhibition and workshop space for artists and the community in Theatre Square.”
I lingered here for a chat with Vicky and Sally and was thrilled – if unsurprised in some ways – to hear that they’d been visited by a local councillor from the Forest of Dean area. He’d heard of Artsite and the work they do and wanted to use it as a model for something in their own area. Surely if ever there was a case for the art work below that’s it?
I REALLY love this piece. If someone wants to buy it for me I wouldn’t say no. #justsaying
I was also rather taken with these – but you need to visit to seem them properly:
Swindon in 2041
So that’s it – my roundup of my first visit to the Made in Swindon art trail. It’s only a flavour so go and get the full art feast yourself.
Today has been a special day for Swindon. One that not even some pretty diabolical weather could dampen. Despite the howling wind and driving rain a large crowd stoically gathered outside Swindon’s STEAM museum for a long-awaited and much-vaunted moment.
For today, at 4.30pm outside STEAM museum, the replica hooter was sounded once more to mark the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Swindon Works.
I very nearly didn’t bother to go and I got absolutely drenched. Oh how I suffer for this blog! 😉
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.
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: https://swindonian.me/2015/08/20/david-bent-refreshed/ 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.
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!
“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 … “
“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 25 February 1841, GWR directors gave the go-ahead for the railway works to be built in Swindon – following the advice and recommendations of Locomotive Superintendent Daniel Gooch. He identified the town as being the ideal place for the GWR’s central repair workshops. Construction started immediately and a new town was born!
Throughout 2016 we will be celebrating this historic occasion plus the huge achievements that Swindon has made in the last 175 years.”
So this post is a simple shout-out for some of the events planned so you can get them in your diary. More details will come as each one gets closer. But for now – lick your pencils and get them diarised.
5TH FEBRUARY –
SWINDON175 SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES ACROSS THE TOWN
– GWR WORKS HOOTERS SOUNDING AT STEAM
1ST APRIL – 10TH APRIL
SWINDON FRINGE (YOU COULD CONTACT MATT FOX, MADAM RENARDS)
The year 2016 marks 175 years since the birth of Swindon as a railway town…
I am going to design… a Station after my own fancy; that is, with engineering roofs, etc. Isambard Kingdom Brunel
And he did rather didn’t he?
It’s rather fitting I think, that this multicultural town of Swindon – the new Swindon – was made possible by a man of French descent. Though born in England, Isambard was sent to school in France for a time before returning to work with his father, Sir Marc Isambard Brunel.
Last night I was fortunate enough to attend the launch ‘do’ for a year of celebrations to mark 175 years of the birth of Swindon as a railway town. And a very splendidly done affair it was too.
Not only was the event a fabulous platform (brace yourselves now – railway related word play is likely to puther out as thickly as when the City of Truro was getting up a full head of steam!) to launch the events of 2016, it was also a reminder of just how proud of Swindon we really should be. Yes – becauseof Brunel and God’s Wonderful railway. But not just because of that.
Made in Swindon can be described as ‘Trains, planes and automobiles’ – but gosh there’s so much more besides! YES THERE IS. Don’t doubt it.
Indeed Graham Carter of Swindon Heritage gave a fantastic presentation listing tons of reasons why we should be proud of Swindon. Yup. Tons of fantastic, wonderful amazing ‘things’ that were made in Swindon.
Here – taken at random – are six of them.
The King George V – the most powerful and beautiful loco from the golden age of steam. Made in Swindonin 1927.
The GWR medical fund: this was the forerunner of the NHS and that didn’t come about for another 101 years. Made in Swindon in 1847.