A new arts hub – based around the old Boilerhouse Gallery – has been launched in Corfe Castle with exhibitions, music and spoken word events planned throughout the summer.
Called Sandy Hill Arts, the project is now registered as a charity. The site next to Corfe Castle railway station is home to 19 artists and includes a teaching space, with a marquee being set up to host events.
The Boilerhouse Gallery next to the railway in Corfe Castle
“Foundation from which to thrive”
The Viney family have leased the site to the new charity for an initial 25 years. The old milk bottling plant was acquired by Tony Viney some 30 years ago to save it from developers. The new status will preserve the site for the benefit of the community and make it easier to apply for grants.
Melissa Viney, Tony’s daughter, said:
“Establishing it as a charity gives the project a firm foundation from which to thrive.
“We have been working on the idea for a long time and we’ve finally got it to the point where we are ready to launch and invite other people to get involved.”
Melissa Viney (top) and Tony Viney (below)
A special event to launch Sandy Hill Arts is being held on Saturday 21st May 2022, when the satirical poet Elvis McGonagall, who has featured on national BBC radio, will be joined by locally based Pop-up Bowie Paul Antony, with his David Bowie tribute.
Paul also has an artists studio at the site and has taken part in the Artisans on the Beach event in Swanage.
There are plans for free music, outside catering and an open house every weekend.
Pop-up Bowie – Paul Antony performing and at Artisans on the Beach
“A magical site”
“It’s a magical site and we’re very excited about the project. It’s got immense potential because it’s got the right mixture of creativity and being slightly rough around the edges. It’s got a charm about it which inspires people.”
Tony Viney was a driving force behind the start of the Purbeck Film Festival and Purbeck Art Weeks. Before his current ill health, he was a stone sculptor using Purbeck stone.
He moved to Dorset after running a successful publishing and distribution business in London. He has also served as a local councillor.
A magical site
“Beginning of something quite exciting”
Richard Jeffrey, who manages the site, and Frances Pollard, who has a pottery studio, are among those who have set up the new charity which is now looking for volunteers to help run it.
Richard Jeffery, a photographer and ceramicist, said:
“This is the beginning of something quite exciting. We aim to bring new work into Purbeck which is a bit more challenging as well as supporting local artists.
“I think it’s going to make a real difference for creative artists in the area.”
Potter Jayne Cunliffe has a studio at the site
One of the forthcoming events is the visit of the psychedelic Fantasy Orchestra in August 2022.
Tickets for the opening event on Saturday 21st May 2022 can be purchased via the Eventbrite website
Poet Elvis McGonagall appearing at the new Sandy Hill Arts