After a turbulent few years for creative talent, the premier art festival in Swanage and across Purbeck is providing a platform for new artists to exhibit.
Purbeck Art Weeks, known as the PAW festival, launched with a party at Rollington Barn near Corfe Castle on Friday 27th May 2022 and will continue for two weeks until Sunday 12th June 2022.
The launch party at Rollington Barn near Corfe Castle
Open studios and festival hub
The event encompasses 40 open studios across Purbeck, with artists welcoming people to their studios to see their art, as well as more than a 100 artists who exhibit at Rollington Barn, the festival hub.
Among those opening their doors in Swanage are the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club, who have been lucky enough to take over a gallery space at the Purbeck New Wave Gallery in the High Street.
Other Swanage artists to visit in the centre of town include Andy Knill, Lucy Tidbury, Ed Marriot, Jo Porter, Kitty Wass, Jenny and Jessamy Hawke. Further out are Charlie Money, Sarah Wootton, Richard Hooke, Alan Stephen, Mon Hawley and Sandie Clark.
Isle of Purbeck Arts Club members sketching outdoors
The exhibition by the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club attracted more than 80 visitors on its first day at the Purbeck New Wave Gallery in Swanage
“Opportunity for so many new artists to exhibit”
At the launch party at Rollington Barn, chair of Purbeck Art Weeks Charlotte Heath said:
“It’s been a difficult time for artists and what’s really nice is the opportunity for so many new artists to exhibit at Rollington Barn. It’s not as onerous as hosting an open studio and it gives them a real chance for their work to be seen and appreciated.”
Party in the barn: PAW Festival trustee Anne Easterbrook (left) with festival chair Charlotte Heath (right)
“Back in our usual slot”
In 2020 due to the covid pandemic the festival didn’t happen and in 2021 it eventually took place later in the year in September.
“It feels really good to be back in our usual slot over the schools’ summer half term with the advantage of the better weather.
“We started planning for this event as soon as the last one finished – it’s a lot of work, but worth it!”
Juliet West with her original painting Fireworks over Swanage Bay
Swanage resident’s design chosen for programme cover
The design chosen for the programme cover was created by Swanage resident, Juliet West with her painting Fireworks over Swanage Bay. Juliet said:
“I was so excited for my painting to be chosen.
“The theme was along the lines of celebration so I thought ‘what does Swanage do for a celebration?’ and I just thought of fireworks. Over carnival week, we always have fireworks as part of the summer celebration, so that’s what I painted!”
Andy Knill’s studio is in Commercial Road in Swanage near the chocolate shop Chocco
Lucy Tidbury at her shop Lucy’s Farm in Tilly Mead in Swanage
Music, poets and puppets
As well as the artists open studios and the exhibition at Rollington Barn, there is also a programme of events over the fortnight including a number of musical concerts, performing poets at The Globe pub in Swanage and a dance show with a giant puppet on Swanage seafront.
Schools from across Purbeck took part in workshops and their art is displayed at Rollington Barn including that of Swanage Primary
Artwork by pupils at St Mark’s CoE Primary School in Swanage
Designs by Stoborough CoE Primary School students
- All the details of venues, dates and timings are on the PAW Festival website
There’s always queues for the great food on offer at the Rollington Barn launch party