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.

Much has changed, but there are many familiar names displaying work at the Mill’s 21st anniversary show. As the selection was restricted to 21 artists, there are bound to be some startling omissions, and indeed some of them attended the private view last week.

Current owners Michael and Deborah Cox have actually only been running the gallery side for the last ten years or so. They were there right from the start, establishing the cafe which I imagine today remains the hub of the operation.

One important service the Mill provides is office and workshop rental for artists and crafts-makers. This brings great variety under one roof and is a business model Salisbury could do with a lot more of if it’s to attract tourists and business into the city centre. A solution to empty retail spaces too.

An aspect of the anniversary show that surprised me is the number of artists working with wood, ranging from the practical to the decorative. The pieces by Nick Barberton, Alan Hussey and Karen Hansen give the exhibition some real breadth, and are a welcome counterpart to the mainly representational art.

There is nothing in carved stone, only the models by Paul Harvey.

His stylised bird figures are actually cast from marble and resin, so don’t really qualify, but they do look elegant and sophisticated, and probably sell quite well.

Other 3D work is by potter Julie Ayton, sculptor Ian Marlow, and glass by Ruth Dresman. It is good to see some ceramic figures by Anne-Marie Marshall - owls, toads, sheep and hares. These are not made in any sentimental manner, but they are fetching nonetheless.

That leaves the paintings. The only purely abstract works are by Alex Gillo, though those by Matthew Dean and Lucy Bentley contain elements of abstraction. Fred Fieber, Peter Matthews, Lindsay Keir, and Mary Fawcett are all represented. I am no follower of equestrian art but Amanda Gentle’s paintings show an impressive vigour. The show continues at the Mill until August 8.

Opening this weekend is another local group show by Plain Arts members at the Salisbury Library gallery. This is a first group venture in one location, featuring small works under 40cm, and will run until the end of July. There will be an open evening this Friday and I’m sure everyone is welcome.

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