At the beginning of summer I won a SAW Creative Pathways bursary. This enabled me to work with Bronwen Bradshaw and Pauline Watson of Dove Arts, Somerset. My role was to reconfigure their archives for public display, and to assist with picture editing a book that celebrates 45 years of the Dove. During my time at the Dove I got the opportunity to try out indigo dying, which was great fun. I generated a series of new works, and produced some work for the book.
My main focus for the bursary was to find a way to tell the story of the Dove and present photographs and articles from their archive. I chose to develop my graphic style and created a large-scale display that tells the whole story. I included the first ever Crafts magazine, which supported and featured the early Dove, and made a book that visually shows the development of the Dove through the years.
This piece will be on display as part of Somerset Art Weeks until 18th October, at Dove Studios in Butleigh.
More info about the Dove:
The Dove began in 1970 when two art lecturers left their posts at Hornsey College of Art in London and set up a new home and studio in rural Somerset. The idea was born out of frustrations that Tony Horrocks and Pauline Watson faced during the student demonstrations at Hornsey in 1968. They wanted to provide arts education with the minimum of constraints, available to all. Dove Centre of Creativity was launched in October 1972 in a newly renovated farmhouse. The Centre comprised of 5 fully-equipped studios, a gallery and living space for 10-12 resident artists, and provided a comprehensive programme of arts and crafts classes to all. Outside pressures were taking its toll as the National recession hit, and the Centre struggled to make ends meet. When investors pulled their money out, there was no choice but to sell the buildings and land. Four resident Dove members bought the workshops and two of the three dwellings, allowing arts education and production to continue here. But the structure of the Centre changed to a looser and more experimental character. The Dove became known as Dove Workshops. A new community grew from the ashes of the old and the Dove buzzed with creativity, art, music, performance, cooking, and living off the land. In 1987 another change in structure saw the focus shift from land-based communal living to a quieter, studio-based art practice. Etching, printing and bookmaking classes continue to be popular and successful, retaining the Dove’s core principals of creativity, art and education in the community. The Dove is now known as Dove Studios, and continues to attract a wealth of artists and makers. This amazing place has inspired countless people; its adaptability and ability to evolve generates a special creative spirit that takes hold in all who visit. The Dove has been teaching, inspiring, growing, changing and creating for 45 years, and has the capacity to go on for many, many more.
Look at the Dove blog for more information about the exhibition and celebrations: dovearts.wordpress.com/
I've been developing further work from the digital collages that I started at the Dove