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From the Art

art blog

Martin Urmson

First launch of autumn

Posted on 9:52am Thursday 17th September 2015

THE FIRST launch of the autumn season is at Salisbury Arts Centre where sculptor Michael Pennie’s travelling show has arrived at its last station. Beginning in Corsham at the start of summer, and with a spell at Trowbridge, ‘Sculpture for Furniture’ reveals a mature artist (Pennie is in his late 70s) bursting with questions and ideas.

Bill Browne

A cultural quarter is about to emerge

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:53pm Friday 21st August 2015

IN WILTSHIRE there are people of vision who are determined to create a new centre of culture. It is to be Swindon! Yes, the town that gave us the most complicated roundabout ever - so large it can be seen from space, apparently - is about to enter a new and glorious age.

Bill Browne

Capital way to view art can be costly

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 12:23pm Monday 17th August 2015

WITH TWO blockbuster exhibitions coming to an end next month, it’s a good time to visit London, particularly if life is regulated by school terms. Or so I thought, because adding up the cost of a day trip makes me wonder.

Bill Browne

Build relations with galleries to show work

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 3:38pm Thursday 6th August 2015

I CAME across a discussion on Facebook recently which began by questioning the role of art critics but soon developed into a question of how to get a gallery to take your work.

Alex Rennie

Art show looks fabulous but is over-complex

Posted on 3:28pm Thursday 30th July 2015

AFTER last week’s coincidence of three simultaneous local groups shows, here comes another – Settlement at the Young Gallery features collections of household bits and pieces, just like at Salisbury Museum.

Joe Riddle

Exhibits with a strong sense of good humour

Posted on 1:48pm Thursday 23rd July 2015

VISIT Salisbury Museum at present and you’ll notice an unusual cabinet in the Wessex Gallery. The new lottery-funded Wessex houses the archaeological displays: it’s modern, slick and authoritative.

Christine Stock

Some bad news, yet good news

Posted on 10:52am Thursday 9th July 2015

IT’S like this: the installation called “Enlightenment” in the cathedral’s north porch contains 6,000 suspended lights. These continuously change colour, interacting with the audience as it moves among them. An explanatory banner tells us: “Best viewed after dark”.

Bill Browne

Forgotten guests of Fisherton Mill's anniversary party

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:52pm Tuesday 30th June 2015

It seems hard to believe it’s been 21 years since Fisherton Mill was rescued from dereliction, before its transformation into the creative centre it is today. Harder still to visualise the timescale: perhaps it's enough to recall that few of us used computers, or even mobile phones, back in 1994.

Bill Browne

Barons are you serious?

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 5:33pm Friday 19th June 2015

IF WE CAN all agree that the Chalke Valley History Festival takes place just the other side of the city boundary, then it can be added to the growing calendar of attractions Salisbury has to offer the visitor.

Alex Rennie

Kite film shows context is vital for visual arts

Posted on 9:39am Thursday 18th June 2015

VIDEO-MAKER Susan Francis presented a film evening at New Red Studios which provoked some thoughts about context. Firstly she chose a film by David Podger of a kite flying in a green field that was originally part of an installation in a grass-turfed room. The silent fixed viewpoint image was first intriguing, then boring, and finally mesmerising.

A trip back in time at Sarum Studio

Posted on 12:21pm Monday 8th June 2015

THE best surprises are often the most unexpected, and as genuine surprises are becoming less frequent it’s worth seeking them out.

Elizabeth Frink at Young Gallery until July 4

Posted on 7:52am Monday 1st June 2015

ELIZABETH Frink is now showing at the Young Gallery until July 4, and if you like her work you will surely like this exhibition. I’m not a great fan, so the catalogue’s description of her works on paper as “some of the most powerful and sublime drawings of the 20th Century” leaves me nonplussed.

Martin Urmson

Old masters still have tricks up their sleeve

Posted on 12:13pm Thursday 28th May 2015

TWO old masters are simultaneously making an appearance at local galleries. The long-awaited Turner’s Wessex has opened at Salisbury Museum, while Howard Hodgkin is featured at the New Art Centre, Roche Court.

Bill Browne

Unravelling the story of a benefactor

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 8:25pm Friday 15th May 2015

IT IS A SOBERING thought that our two great arts benefactors, Edwin Young and John Creasey were no great artists themselves. Young was competent but had little in the way of individual vision, and might best be described as a journeyman.

Bill Browne

Fisherton Street Festival has helped me see the future

Salisbury Journal: Photograph of the Author

Posted on 7:37am Wednesday 13th May 2015

I HAVE seen the future, and it works! This borrowed quotation occurred to me on Bank Holiday Monday as I threaded my way through Fisherton Festival. I’d had good expectations but even so I was surprised by the crowds. With the weather gods against us it could have been a different story, but the rain held off until the very last moments.

Alex Rennie

Varying sources of inspiration

Posted on 11:45am Thursday 7th May 2015

THAT inspiration springs from widely different sources is evident from two current Salisbury shows.

Miranda Robertson

A shopaholic's high is short-lived

Posted on 9:37am Thursday 23rd April 2015

I VISITED London’s Barbican Centre last week to see an offbeat show.

Artists should curate shows, not freelancers

Posted on 7:00am Thursday 19th March 2015

I HAVE trouble trying to determine what exactly is a curator’s role.

Even abstract art needs to follow rules

Posted on 8:00am Thursday 12th March 2015

ON first hearing about the latest show at Salisbury Arts Centre, my first instinct was to boycott it. It’s by Bath Spa University students.

Cut paper art and a talent cut short

Posted on 10:00am Thursday 5th March 2015

I WAS interested to hear about the exhibition of cut paper images currently showing at Salisbury Museum, partly because I have used a similar idea for a current show in Taunton.

Spring brings good signs for art’s future

Posted on 7:40am Thursday 26th February 2015

AS we begin to see the first signs of spring, new shoots are beginning to emerge.

City needs to reach out to our students

Posted on 7:00am Friday 20th February 2015

MY family has roots in the South West but my sister and I were born and raised in the East Midlands.

Exhibtion was a welcome insight to art

Posted on 10:00am Thursday 12th February 2015

I WASN’T looking forward to reviewing the current show at the Young Gallery: ‘New from Old, Salisbury Schools Art Exhibition’ (until February 28). I imagined it would be like watching a Nativity play without knowing any actors.

FROM THE ART: Suffering from overflow of competitions

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 5th February 2015

REMEMBER Watercolour Challenge? This Channel 4 show was for me a shining light among daytime television’s dreary offerings. It seems now to belong to a more innocent age, even though it was broadcast only 15 years ago. Jerry Springer certainly hadn’t arrived here in those gentler days, writes Martin Urmson.

Sound: makes you aware of its absence

Posted on 7:00am Friday 30th January 2015

A FEW weeks ago when I wrote about Arts Council grants readers may have thought they detected the odour of sour grapes.

It’s interesting but in need of unification

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 22nd January 2015

ON show at the Young Gallery is ‘Selected’, an exhibition which seems like a nice idea, and may be an indication of things to come after the exhibiting space was expanded.

What qualifies photography as ‘true’ art?

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 15th January 2015

THE Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones recently asked who today has taken on the tradition of representing the poor in art as, for instance, Van Gogh did.

Don’t inspect the contents of artists’ laundry baskets, please

Posted on 1:00pm Thursday 8th January 2015

I ENJOYED Mike Leigh’s artist biopic Mr Turner but can’t say I was pleased to learn so much about his private life. Studying an artist’s work can be a spiritually uplifting experience; inspecting the contents of his laundry basket less so.

Start a new art collection for 2015

Posted on 9:00am Tuesday 30th December 2014

Here’s a new year’s resolution that will make a difference: start a new art collection.

Pop-up shops and galleries a ‘no-brainer’

Posted on 12:05pm Monday 29th December 2014

A problem faced by many local authorities today is how to revive our town and city centres, and ensure revenue from business rates keeps rolling into the council coffers.

Latest show at gallery well worth a visit

Posted on 10:22am Thursday 11th December 2014

IT was gratifying to be publicly thanked for buying the Young Gallery a painting by John Piper, unveiled last week.

New feature adds magic to cathedral

Posted on 11:00am Friday 5th December 2014

HOW much do we really notice of the world around us?

Is funding a blessing or just a curse?

Posted on 2:24pm Wednesday 26th November 2014

THE Government’s approach to arts funding is a bit of a mystery to me.

Keep an eye out for insight into a virtual world

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 20th November 2014

When one of my nephews chose to study Games Technology at university, there were contradictory reactions within the family.

Martin Gilchrist

The pressures of success and understanding

Posted on 10:54am Thursday 13th November 2014

By Martin Urmson

The pressures of success and understanding

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 13th November 2014

WHAT drives many artists is, if not success, then recognition and understanding.

Galleries offer a rich, diverse experience

Posted on 10:13am Thursday 6th November 2014

HALF-term provides an opportunity for travel, and in our house that means gallery visits further afield.

What can we take from our recent fortune?

Posted on 10:00am Thursday 30th October 2014

WHAT’S Plovdiv got that we haven’t, then?

Collaboration is needed to boost the city

Posted on 11:00am Thursday 23rd October 2014

WE have known that 2014 would be the centenary year of the start of the Great War for a very long time.

Gallery styles lend well to history exhibit

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 16th October 2014

THE differences between exhibiting art and history are becoming more narrow, and it’s no bad thing, ensuring art remains coherent and that history becomes more alive.

What denotes the true value of an artwork?

Posted on 3:30pm Wednesday 8th October 2014

THE idea that art should be affordable is good in principle, but can be hard to define.

The art of lace

Posted on 10:08am Thursday 2nd October 2014

AT Salisbury Museum, Theresa Whitfield’s drawings in ‘Lace: An Unexpected Look’ are certainly as advertised.

Sums of money corrupt artwork

Posted on 10:17am Thursday 25th September 2014

By Martin Urmson

Margate is a shining star we can follow

Posted on 10:37am Thursday 18th September 2014

LAST week’s suggestion that Salisbury’s future could be secure and bright if only we had a new and purpose-built art gallery provoked some interesting reactions.

Salisbury is in need of a new prestige gallery

Posted on 11:11am Thursday 11th September 2014

THE three exhibition spaces at Salisbury library are all given to a single show at present.

Scars of the past resonate in the present

Posted on 10:24am Thursday 4th September 2014

By Martin Urmson

Scars of the past resonate in the present

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 4th September 2014

I LIKE to think of the real world as an extended artwork, always changing under the influence of wind and weather, and the interventions of man.

Aged pictures provide new insights into another time

Posted on 10:15am Thursday 28th August 2014

ONE common factor linking the artists in Salisbury Arts Centre’s show Lost is that they are all older, maybe wiser, than when they made their exhibits.

Exhibition is lacking in the best of Beaton

Posted on 10:33am Thursday 21st August 2014

By Martin Urmson

Art integrated into the fabric of Mompesson

Posted on 9:00am Thursday 14th August 2014

SCULPTURE often presents me with a problem.

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