Durlston Country Park and Dorset Art Weeks

Yesterday I headed off to Durlston Country Park, near Swanage, where a nineteenth century castle perches on the cliffside overlooking the sea. It was blisteringly hot but there was a slight breeze and a picture-book white sailed boat stood out against the sparking blue green water in the distance.  Fairy tale stuff.

The new gallery at Durlston is currently hosting a show of work to coincide with Dorset Art Weeks which is running from 26th May to 6 June.  A pick of work by directors and emerging artists.  An exquisitely crafted Garden Chair for all seasons by John Makepiece in English yew and cast aluminium shows just why his work is so highly sort after.  A similar attention to beauty in the Japanese influenced  Torii, a pair side tables by Simon Thomas Pirie in cherry and native black walnut.  another piece which caught my eye was Hannah Scott’s The Baraba Steppe  an abstract painting of intersecting lines of paint, suggesting a grid but allowing the poured paint to impart a freedom from restraint. There is a fine freely drawn abstract painting, Malvesia dated 2006 by Jim Hunter with something about it which brought  Roger Hilton to mind. I loved  Louise Lobban’s pinhole photograph Above the mash tubs;  evocative and delicately atmospheric.  Jane Emebrson’s  two paintings, Ortis and Seeking Esmerelda are interesting too.   Painted in gloss that appears to have marbled as the colours mixed , the extraordinarily visceral forms  seemed to have been hurled across the surface of the canvas. They  sit proud of the thinly acryliced support like shiney water droplets before they spread and disperse.  There are plenty of other delights.  An architypal fairy tale, Dominic Shepherd, a pair of Brian Grahams from his Boxgrove Considered Fragments and Julia Flatman’s All that Glitters, sculptural installation with honey and beehives.


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