Down Fort is centre of focus for artists for Somerset Art Weeks
group of artists are bringing the story of Brean Down fort to
life for the duration of Somerset Art Weeks between 3rd18th
Sense of Place exhibition involves four Somerset-based
artists; Donna Vale, Joy Merron, Amanda Boyd and Jon England working
alongside conservation scientist Matthew Bjerregaard from Visual
Persistence and Melinda Watson from the RAW Foundation.
is conveying their own individual response to communicate and
bring to life the history of Brean Down Fort through large and
aim of the project is to respond to the stories of the people,
the landscape and the buildings; forming a connection to those
who lived and worked at Brean Down. Past histories have been brought
to life through the arts to capture the imagination of visitors.
say Brean Down itself is key to the work, with the profoundly
dramatic peninsula and striking disposition of the buildings.
Down never fails to amaze me," says artist Donna Vale who
came up with the initial concept of the project.
its unique landscape and spectacular views, this really is an
installation on the edge."
place and identity, human element and emotion, researching local
stories and kept memories the artists have created a visually
appealing exhibition in a unique environment.
and weathering is a central theme to the display, incorporating
wartime letters, photographs and the sound of conflict.
art pieces range from textiles interwoven with narratives belonging
to local voices, to a large animated Zoetrope to light the dark
contrast, large-scale installations such as an extensive fishing
net web of mirrored and clear acrylic, perfectly captures
the flash of sunlight on fish scales, sea spray and rolling waves.
The flow of elements and livelihoods is being represented through
the buildings, drifting across and between fort structures, reflecting
a sense of fluidity and time; bridging the past and connecting
Hirst, Visitor Experience Manager at Brean Down, says: "We
are excited to see the artworks in place at the fort. Having been
planning with the artists for the last year, it is fascinating
to see everything coming together and all the pieces beautifully
supporting and complimenting one another despite being so dramatically
much of the work incorporates discarded plastics found during
beach clean ups, providing a poignant reminder of our continuing
impact on the landscape."
Watson from the Raw Foundation will run educational plastic-free
workshops at Brean Down Café during Somerset Art Weeks,
providing inspiration on how to reduce plastic use and its impact
on the environment. The space above the café will also
serve as an additional gallery.
exhibition at Brean Down fort and at Brean Down Cove Café
will be open every Thursday Sunday during Somerset Art
Weeks, 11 4pm. Raw Foundation Plastic-free
workshops will be held on Sunday 4, Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Friday
16 October 11 4pm. The Big Draw workshop will be held on
Sunday 11 October 11 4pm.