Artist: Katrina Atkinson

My Creative Family

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The first time I saw her was through a forest of masts on a field full of yachts.


She was standing tall, gleaming, holding the tallest mast of all, her sword.


She sparkles and twinkles, her bronze contours bouncing the reflection of the sun.


She ‘Verity’ -  Truth and Justice,  like the statue of Liberty, significant of America. She protects the coast of Ilfracombe, she stands tall, brave and strong, holding the balance, she weighs-up right from wrong!


Standing on her plinth of Law Books, Maritime Law?


Is she a women who is  an echo of a ship’s helm holding her head high?


Her stance is that of Degas’ Ballerina, Hurst here obviously referencing traditional sculpture. Her skin peeled back from half of her body, as if stockings or sleeves, exposing muscles and internal baby.


Standing tall and proud, glistening and glinting in the sunlight, earth mother, sea queen, pregnant woman representing Life itself.



 

Being an artist is not only a vocation for me, I eat , breath and sleep art, it is my life. I visit artists, crafts people, go to galleries, museums and gardens and I have friends who are artists. I enjoy the cup in which I have my morning coffee;  the walk I take my dog, there is so much creativity and artistry around I want to share a taste of it with you. When I go to the City it is with fresh eyes; the architecture, the colours, the shapes, the lines, all such a contrast from my own home in rural Somerset; where rolling green hills, woods, craggy Cheddar Gorge, soft wavy lines and ever changing colours abound. I am interested in the hand made, the home made and the make do and mend ethos, though this is not a latest fad for me it has been part of my upbringing. Anti -consumerism and celebration of craftsmanship!


I have always preferred a good quality pair of shoes once every few years than cheap shoes several times a year,  the same with other things; I used to have a Morris Minor, would love to have a VW Camper Van; vehicles made to last, strong, solid and beautiful. My upbringing most probably had plenty to do with my love of crafts, my Step-Father was a wheelwright, making wooden wheels traditionally and restoring horse drawn carts, carriages, gypsy caravans and other outdated paraphernalia. My Mother has always been creative, she would make clothes and furnishings, paint pictures and canal ware; she baked, annually made wine, jams and chutneys and later painted scrolled and lined the Gypsy Caravans that my Step-father had made or restorted.


There were times that we  (my brothers and I ) travelled the roads with horse-drawn Gypsy Caravans, visit horse fairs and sell our wares; we made wooden pegs, kypsy baskets, wooden flowers and collected heather. I started a small business at 12 years of age making cushions, dressing table sets and at the time beanbags were the rage; my mum would sell them at the local market. Hand Made and make-do were most definitely part of my upbringing.

THE PAINTING HAS A LIFE OF ITS OWN, I TRY TO LET IT COME THROUGH:

JACKSON POLLOCK.

Creative Trips for all the family to Enjoy.


John Leach’s Muchelney Pottery: www.johnleachpottery.co.uk


Brown & Forest: www.smokedeel.co.uk

 

Burrow Hill Cider:

www.ciderbrandy.co.uk

John Leach son of the famous potter Bernard Leach of St Ives Cornwall. John Leach’s pottery in Somerset is a favourite little jaunt of mine, especially on those rare occasions (about twice a year) when he has a kiln opening. John Leach fires his pots in a traditional wood fired kiln. The firing itself is a really physical and hard process, a good friend of mine Ella Philips a local potter has assisted with John’s firings on occasions. The kiln has to be stoked with wood to create a consistent heat for many hours this means working through the night. A high temperature has to be reached and maintained in order to heat the clay and glazes to be used for domestic use. A combination of John’s own glaze recipes and the smoke effects, cause the unique surface of the pots.

Bruton Chapel & Gallery

www.atthechapel.co.uk

Lovely home made breads and pastries. Smoked Salmon & Eggs A breakfast winner for my little girl!

Leach makes superb, simple table ware,  with a wonderful rustic quality. The kiln opening events are a great opportunity to grab a bargain, purchase a less than perfect pot, these are regarded by John as seconds, these little gems are what make hand-made pottery unique, and a pleasure to use.

Having rummaged through the fired objects it is well worth a look around the gallery. There is a lovely exhibition space that houses The Leach pottery shop and an International Contemporary Arts and crafts gallery.

After all that work-  why not pop over to Brown & Forest Smokery? (4 or 5 miles away) and partake of an enjoyable lunch of smoked fish or meat. Washed down with a glass of wine.

There is a pleasant tea room or if you’re really lucky it is nice to sit outside. Occasionally here, some days you can see the process of the produce in the chimney,  smoking until tender.

To complete an enjoyable day around this idyllic part of Somerset I recommend popping into The Burrow Hill Cider Brandy farm. Have a look at the antique French copper distillery, the orchards, and if you’re feeling energetic take a lovely walk up the hill to a little tree where the views are stupendous! Having worked up a thirst, sample some Cider or Cider Brandy and maybe purchase a flagon or two to take away.


The Courthouse Gallery.

www.somersetguild.co.uk

Castle Cary Town.

Has several little galleries and tea shops worth looking around!

Gwen Ardath Cox. Facebook

Jackie Barwell & Phil Barwell. Printmaking and Furniture. Banwell.

Michael Burnet Smith. www.michaelburnetsmith.com

Lee Dalby. Willow.

Lisa Ebert & Martin Richins. Photographer Waggon Painter and Artist. Facebook.

Millie Gleeson. Artist. www.milliegleeson.com

Robin Gray. Artist Caving themes. www.robingrayartworks.com

Rebecca Hearne. Photographer. facebook.

Laura Lian. Sculpture. www.lauralian.co.uk

Katie B Morgan. www.about.me/kbmorgan

Sarah Parsons Ceramics. www.somersetartworks.org.uk/venues/chestnut-farm-studio

Ella Philips. Potter.

Simon Taylor. Ceramicist. www.simtaylorceramics.co.uk

Carole Watson. Textile Artist.

Jan Williams & Chris Teasdale. The Caravan Gallery. www.thecaravangallery.co.uk

Gemma Louise Williams. Photographer. www.gemmalouisewinlliams.co.uk

Martin Wrench. Watercolours.

Lou Louis friend Illustrator.

Jim  (Printer) Its All Too Much Gallery. Bristol.  www.itsall2much.com/exhibitions.html

MY ARTIST FRIENDS:

MY FACE BOOK FAVES!!!

Sarah Hickey.

Jane Lee Horton.

Eye Am

Tisna Westerhof

Delaine Le Bas

Claudia Furlani

An Arty Devon Day Trip! Two places I recommend !!!!


Rural Culture at its best!


Ilfracombe and Broomhill

11 The Quay, Ilfracombe:

Damien Hurst’s Cafe/ Restaurant, 11 The Quay,

Just along the waterfront from Verity, overlooking the bay. Three times now I have visited Verity and the cafe, this time taking a friend, we were received by a very friendly front of house waiter, he immediately gave us some place mats, they have Hurst images; one side Fish, the other Spots. He (the waiter) also offered us the opportunity to look upstairs in the restaurant, and to peruse the art works.

Downstairs, the walls are adorned with butterfly wallpaper, at first glance giving an almost old fashioned appearance, covered in butterfly print patterns. Had one not seen Hurst’s work previously the wallpaper could easily have been mistaken for a retro 1970s design.


On the one wall there are a series of Hurst’s ‘Butterfly Colour Painting’ works, opposite a cabinet with formaldehyde Fish, ‘Isolated Elements Swimming’ 1991.

Along the hallway leading up the stairs are some ‘Spin paintings’ and more butterfly pieces leading to the restaurant; here tablecloths with napkins cover tables awaiting. A row of french style doors lead out onto the verandah overlooking the bay.

The walls are covered in very busy shiny wallpaper; designs from the medication series of Hurst’s pharmaceutical ‘Pill Cabinets’.

Art pieces are everywhere, maquettes of Verity etc. I do recommend the coffee and cake as well!! It’s good to sit downstairs though, outside the front of the cafe, and people watch; believe me each time I have been there, I have made some interesting observations...


www.11thequay.co.uk

Broomhill Art Hotel.

Broomhill Art Hotel and Sculpture Park but a stone’s throw from Ilfracombe, ( 9.5 miles to be precise) but a must do if your in that part of the country and love Art.


Broomhill is lovely, especially on a sunny day. It has such a relaxed atmosphere, indoor gallery space, restaurant, B&B rooms as well as the sculpture gardens. (I can recommend the Tapas.)

Sculpture seems to be billowing from the gardens, so much to see these gardens must be expanding dramatically. ( I have been here before as well!)


Not all the Art is what I would describe as Good Art but it is most enjoyable to see sculptures in a natural setting, usually, I find that sculpture is more often seen in formal garden settings, to be observed at a distance, mowed lawns etc. Here  within a very natural environment can be found an eclectic mix of contemporary minimalist metal spheres, alongside varying shiny shapes glinting through the trees when hit by the sunshine.

Glass domes push up through the water,  stone carvings, wood carvings, clay. Sandy Brown sculptures, with beautiful bright glass formations drip down. Animals and people, representational and abstract, every style, shape and genre.....


Unlike so many Art establishments, here at Broomhill everything has a relaxed atmosphere; you can really immerse yourself among the sculpture and nature all at once, if you want to touch, you can. I more often feel sculpture to be a tactile medium.


I first visited Broomhill years ago when my little girl was small and she happily ran in and out of the sculptures, through the woods, around the ponds, playing hide and seek.


A most enjoyable lunch, sat out in the gardens, washed down with a glass of wine! It is a true Artists heaven!

www.broomhillart.co.uk

MY FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT OR DRINK & LIVE MUSIC

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These are some heart cushions my mum makes: