A fortnight of open studios, exhibitions, concerts and workshops has kicked off as part of Purbeck Art Weeks Festival 2023.
This year, there’s more going on than before, with The Mowlem in Swanage hosting a live portrait event – a first for Purbeck!
Work on display at Rollington Barn
More than 50 artists are exhibiting at Rollington Barn including Swanage artist Andy Knill
Showcasing an eclectic mix at Rollington Barn
The two weeks runs until Sunday 11th June 2023 with Rollington Barn near Corfe Castle in Dorset showcasing an eclectic mix of paintings, sculpture and wood carvings produced by Purbeck artists.
The Rollington exhibition hub is also hosting stunning artwork by pupils from local schools. With a Love Cake pop up cafe serving tea, coffee, snacks and cake, plus art workshops, there’s plenty to see and do.
The Boilerhouse Gallery at Sandy Hill Arts – formerly the milk bottling depot
Cross over the Corfe Castle station footbridge to Sandy Hill Arts
Sandy Hill Arts trustee Richard Jeffery
Sandy Hill Arts and Boilerhouse Gallery at Corfe Castle
Also becoming more of a focal point for artists each year is Sandy Hill Arts and the Boilerhouse Gallery, next door to Corfe Castle station.
It’s been an arts and crafts site for around 20 years but in 2022 it was registered as a charity, allowing it to establish itself as an arts centre. Trustee Richard Jeffery said:
“It’s really been an industrial estate for artists in the past but as a charity we want to make it more of a community for artists. There’s 17 artists here and during the PAW festival, not only can you visit the artists’ studios but many are running free drop-in workshops including abstract art with mops, cyanotype photography and paper embossing.
“There’s also events including The Enchanted Cinema – a live music performance with a visual animation and separately, the comedian John Hegley, who’s also doing a drawing workshop. They’ll be The Salt Pig pop up cafe and a bar at the events, so people can make an evening of it.
“Many don’t realise how much there is here. We have the Corfe River running along the site, deer, butterflies, dragonflies and deafening birdsong! It’s a green oasis on the edge of a busy tourist village. It can be heaving in the centre of Corfe Castle but you can come here and sit quietly by the river.”
Swanage artist Paul Longland opens his studio at Sandy Hill Arts for the PAW festival
Nature as well as art at Sandy Hill Arts
Artist Lizzie Brown is running free abstract art workshops at Sandy Hill Arts during the PAW Festival
The Gallery at 41 in Corfe Castle
In the bustle of Corfe Castle village, there’s a final opportunity to visit The Gallery at 41 in East Street. It’s closing down at the end of June 2023 due to the retirement of its owners Steve and Chris Clarke. They are now considering the options of what to do next with the prominent shop space at the front of their home.
But it’s not closing before a final PAW exhibition. Chris Clarke said:
“This is the last chance to come and see a collection of fine Dorset artists, who live and work here but sell their work nationally and even internationally.
“We’ve always wanted to promote Dorset artists and hope that over the years, we’ve helped to enhance their profile. Our final exhibition is a tribute to their talent!”
The Gallery at 41 on East Street in Cirfe Castle is closing down at the end of June 2023
Work by Dorset artists on display including sculptures by Langton Matravers artist Moira Purver
One final PAW exhibition for Chris (left) and Steve Clarke (right)
Isle of Purbeck Arts Club
In Swanage, Purbeck New Wave Gallery has opened one of its exhibition spaces to the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club for the PAW Festival.
Members meet on Tuesday mornings at the Catholic Church Hall in Rempstone Road in Swanage during the autumn, winter and spring but during summer head outdoors to paint at various interesting locations in Purbeck. Some of the fruits of their labour are available to view and purchase at the gallery owned by local artist Gina Marshall.
In addition there’s more than 30 studios across Purbeck to discover and it’s all free to visit.
Purbeck New Wave Gallery on the High Street in Swanage is hosting the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club for the PAW Festival
On stewarding duty – Sheila Simons and Barry Goulding from the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club
Among the paintings on display are intricate collages
Events during PAW Festival
Sunday 28th May
- Bushes and Briars by singers The Gesualdo Six – 6.30 pm St Mary’s Church, Wareham
Saturday 3rd June
- Hildegard Transfigured by singers Voice – 7.30 pm St James’ Church, Kingston
- The Enchanted Cinema: live music and projected images – 7.30 pm at Sandy Hill Arts, Corfe Castle
Sunday 4th June
- Coffee Concert with violin and guitar – 10.15 am at Encombe House, Kingston
Monday 5th June
- Purbeck Poets Performing – 7.30 pm at The Globe Inn, Swanage
Thursday 8th June
- Talk by artist and PAW president Philip Jackson on the trials and tribulations of doing portraiture in public sculpture – 6.30 pm at The Mowlem, Swanage
Friday 9th June
- Byrd at 400 by choral group Tenebrae – 6.30 pm at St Mary’s Church, Wareham
Saturday 10th June
- Portrait Artist of Purbeck – 2 pm at The Mowlem, Swanage
- Battle cry: She Speaks performed by singers Helen Charlston and Toby Carr – St Edward’s Church, Corfe Castle
- Comedian and artist John Hegley performance Biscuit of Destiny – 7.30 pm at Sandy Hill Arts, Corfe Castle
Sunday 11th June
- Comedian and artist John Hegley drawing workshop – 10 am to 1 pm at Sandy Hill Arts, Corfe Castle
The young artist exhibition in the Byre at Rollington Barn includes work from Swanage Primary School
Stoborough Primary School pupils have been busy bees!