New art exhibitions open at Durlston for Dorset Art Weeks

After months of waiting, artwork is back on display at Durlston Country Park in Swanage, just in time for the start of Dorset Art Weeks.

Artists are exhibiting their work across Dorset for the next two weeks from Saturday 22nd May 2021.

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Heather Gibbons at the Learning Centre in Durlston Country Park

Two exhibitions at Durlston

There are two exhibitions at Durlston – Take 4 Artists at the Fine Foundation Gallery in Durlston Castle and Heather Gibbons’ Once More with Feeling exhibition at the Learning Centre.

All the artists are delighted and relieved that the events have been able to go ahead following the easing of Covid restrictions from Monday 17th May 2021.

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Take 4 Artists display their work at the Fine Foundation Gallery in Durlston Castle

Take 4 Artists at the Fine Foundation Gallery

This foursome was brought together during lockdown by the Dorset Art Weeks organisers who thought that their art would work well together, especially in the Fine Foundation Gallery with the spectacular view of the sea through the gallery’s windows.

John Austin-Williams, Barbara Davis, Dick Hewitson and Joan Scott are all established artists and while their styles differ, their work complements each other well in tone and colour.

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Dick Hewitson

Dick, who paints landscapes in earthy tones, mainly in oils said:

“We did all know each other before but we’ve never exhibited together like this before, so it’s great that it has all come together so well. It’s been an enjoyable hanging experience – choosing which pictures to use and where to place them. It really is a super gallery – really excellent!”

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Barbara Davis

Barbara, whose work is abstract but based on locations or objects from memory, added:

“The exhibition isn’t just about painting the pictures for us. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort making sure that it all displays well. It’s certainly good to be back exhibiting again – it was for a time a bit on the edge of whether it would all go ahead, so we’re really pleased that people can now come and see what we’ve been doing during lockdown.”

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

John Austin-Williams

For John, who says his work draws inspiration from the landscape and music, says one of his most eye-catching compositions was created during lockdown. He said:

“I know that it’s been difficult for many to keep feeling inspired over the last year but I’ve kept going and it’s good to be exhibiting some of my work here. I think we all started out thinking we’d all be different and wondering what it would all look like together but it’s been good – hard work and lots of fun!”

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Joan Scott

Joan’s work is inspired by the local countryside and coast and she uses mixed media to create realistic detail. Joan, who is a former chair of Bournemouth Arts Club, said:

“It’s a real privilege to exhibit here – to see our work and for others to be able to appreciate it. I hope people will enjoy seeing how we’ve curated it and intentionally created it to flow.”

More about Take 4 Artists exhibition is on the Dorset Art Weeks website

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston
Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston
Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

More work by Take 4 Artists

Heather Gibbons – Once More with Feeling

Over in the Learning Centre, Swanage artist Heather Gibbons has the space to herself. She describes her work as semi-abstract and inspired by Purbeck – the rock forms and strata, the moods and the weather.

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Heather Gibbons

Heather Gibson self portraits

Heather’s self portraits inspired by Grayson Perry during lockdown

“Hard to keep the motivation going”

During lockdown, Heather found it difficult to paint. She said:

“I still painted but found it hard to keep the motivation going. It has been hard with days when you think you don’t want to paint anymore.

“One thing that helped was the Grayson Perry TV programmes. He suggested doing a self portrait and I’m a landscape artist, so it was really challenging but it got me going again. I did several versions and I’ll be displaying them here as well, so people can see what they think.

“Having the exhibition has given me a real focus and a deadline – it made me just drive on with what I do!”

More about Heather Gibbons’ exhibition is on the Dorset Art Weeks website

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Heather Gibbons’ work on display at the Learning Centre

Dorset Arts Weeks exhibition at Durlston

Across Purbeck

Other artists exhibiting in Swanage are:

Artists exhibiting in Purbeck:

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