Top artistic talent goes on display across Purbeck

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!

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Art work at Purbeck Art Weeks at Rollington Barn

Work on display at Rollington Barn

Artist Andy Knill at Purbeck Art Weeks 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.

Boilerhouse at Sandy Hill Arts

The Boilerhouse Gallery at Sandy Hill Arts – formerly the milk bottling depot

Sandy Hill Arts

Cross over the Corfe Castle station footbridge to Sandy Hill Arts

Richard Jeffrey at 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.”

Artist Paul Longland at Sandy Hill Arts

Swanage artist Paul Longland opens his studio at Sandy Hill Arts for the PAW festival

Sandy Hill Arts

Nature as well as art at Sandy Hill Arts

Artist 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 in Corfe castle

The Gallery at 41 on East Street in Cirfe Castle is closing down at the end of June 2023

Artwork at The Gallery at 41 in Corfe castle

Work by Dorset artists on display including sculptures by Langton Matravers artist Moira Purver

The Gallery at 41 in Corfe castle

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.

Outside Purbeck New Wave Gallery in Swanage

Purbeck New Wave Gallery on the High Street in Swanage is hosting the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club for the PAW Festival

Artwork by Isle of Purbeck Arts Club at New Wave Gallery

On stewarding duty – Sheila Simons and Barry Goulding from the Isle of Purbeck Arts Club

Artwork by Isle of Purbeck Arts Club at New Wave Gallery

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
Art work at Purbeck Art Weeks at Rollington Barn

The young artist exhibition in the Byre at Rollington Barn includes work from Swanage Primary School

Art work at Purbeck Art Weeks at Rollington Barn

Stoborough Primary School pupils have been busy bees!

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