Open Studios Event 2012


Over 220 inspirational, diverse artworks will be on display in houses barns, halls, studios and streets during Somerset Art Weeks 2012. See beautiful garden ceramics, wood sculpture, site-specific weaving and light installations, colourful limited edition etchings, dreamy watercolours inspired by the Somerset landscape, and lots more!

“Somerset Art Weeks is a much-loved and thriving annual event and I’m proud to support it. It plays an invaluable role in identifying and celebrating a huge variety of creative activities and projects in this county, finding emerging artists and raising awareness of them. I urge you to go out and enjoy this glorious week of cultural exploration.” - Kevin McCloud


Words from SAW Chairman

Firstly we’d like to thank Pauline Watson for having chaired SAW for so many years with such attentive and detailed care. It’s a complex ship to helm and she has steered SAW with great skill and ambition. We look forward to her continued contributions to the board.

This year is Open Studios - a chance for visitors to see the heart of Somerset’s creativity. There is a huge variety of work out there to see and an equal variety of people and places to visit. It’s a chance for you to explore!

Seek out the hidden studios, find secret masterpieces; it’s a good time to buy at artists’ prices too.

Open Studio is an opportunity to talk to the makers, discussing techniques and theories. Open studios, open minds.

Lastly take the chance to really get to know Somerset: the extraordinarily varied landscape; the vigorous food and drink culture; the significant historic and spiritual past. Somerset is a huge county with a complex cultural fabric.

Explore! Enjoy!
- Richard Pomeroy (Chairman, Somerset Art Works)


To see venue details, please CLICK HERE
To search venue by using our Online Map, please CLICK HERE


Special Projects

Welcome to Somerset Art Weeks 2012. The event features 221 venues this year with more than 300 artists taking part. Each year, we promise to take the Open Studios event to a new level, by showcasing some of the new commissions and projects SAW have initiated, organised and/or curated, alongside the diverse range of work presented by artists in Somerset.

Studio Works
Artists in their creative space

Welcome to our world! From the field nearby, to the garden, from the purpose built studio, to the kitchen table just to name a few examples keeping the creativity alive. In Somerset, there are a very small number of professional studio spaces and public galleries for artists and yet, the artistic community is thriving. Open Studios gives the public an insight into how the artists work and are inspired. To celebrate this, 11 artists were invited to work with our guide designer Chantelle Henocq, graduate photographer Sebastian King and Somerset based writer David Davis, to produce a collection of images that are incorporated in the guide and other publicity materials. Participating artists are Amanda Khan-Davis, David Brayne, Emma Scott, George Foweraker, Jane Brayne, Jane Mackey, John Candler, Melanie Moulding, Pauline Rooke, Simon Ledson and Val George. Larger scales of the images will be exhibited at The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre. For details please see Venue 138.

Studio Open
Artists Exchange and residency

In collaboration with SVA in Stroud and supported by Reveal Somerset, the Brewhouse turns into a temporary artist studio to host resident artist Eunju Yoo from Stroud and Hazel Holman, an emerging artist from Somerset. A short film documenting the Somerset based artist group, Hacker Farm who carried out their residency in the Open Studios event at SVA in May, will also be shown. For details please see Venue 138.

Flight of Crane Exhibition
Inspired by The Great Crane Project

As part of the on-going partnership between SAW and The Great Crane Project, we collaborate with Somerset Crafts, an artists’ co-operative, to present an exhibition featuring a wide range of works inspired by cranes and their living environment in Somerset. The exhibition also features an art installation of hundreds of origami paper cranes created by Lucy Lean in collaboration with schools and the community. Special Celebration Weekend 29 and 30 September. For details please see Venue 27.

Maximum Exposure
Bringing Contemporary Arts to Somerset

Art Weeks is an ideal opportunity for SAW to showcase two of the Maximum Exposure commissions, namely One to Twenty, a 13 metre long inflatable sculpture by artists Claire Barber and Steve Swindells and a film documenting the Taunton Stop Line Live Project by artists Rob and Matt Vales.


Schools who wish to participate in Art Weeks 2012

There are many ways in which schools can get involved in Art Weeks from simply setting a homework activity or by visiting venues. To assist schools to plan their activities around Art Weeks, SAW and SPAEDA have jointly put together an Art Weeks Education Pack specifically tailored for schools. This pack will assist schools in obtaining maximum benefits from the event and include all essential information required to organise tours and activities.

Included in the pack:

- Homework and activity sheet templates for students in Key Stages I to III.

- A list of Art Weeks Venues suitable for school visits

- Practical information to assist in the organisation of venue visits, tours, workshops and preparing risk assessments

- Information on organised tour packages (SPAEDA can organise these on your behalf, subject to a fee)

- Testimonials from schools who have participated in Art Weeks tours in previous years.

To request a pack please email Beccy Swaine at

Art Weeks Education Pack - A Resource for Teachers - Click Here


Event Snippet

SAW have encouraged artists to expand their horizons in contemporary art making for many years. SAW recognise many of these activities are not financed by selling activities during the Open Studios event. We have highlighted some of these events and projects whereby artists have made an extra effort to present their new ideas to you. On reading the guide you will find more.

Venue 01: David Davies

Invites the public to take part in his collaborative poetry about Open Studios.

Visit the website in advance and give your views. Tue to Sun, 11am to 6pm.

Venue 20: Dove Studios

Visit the most established printmaking studio in Somerset. Artists Bronwen Bradshaw, Tony Martin and Pennie Elfick are working in the studio and will talk about their work on Saturday 22nd September, 2-4pm.

Venue 88: The Engine Room

Somerset Film presents ‘archive for the future’ programmes made with volunteer community chroniclers during the past few years. An ideal opportunity for you to get hands on with cameras and recorders. Mondays 17th & 24th, Wednesdays 19th & 26th, Fridays 21st & 28th September from 10am - 4.30pm including Saturday 22nd September 10am - 2pm.

Venue 110: Story Walk

4 GPS walks in scenic Exmoor with a spin. Visit website in advance to download the app and walking route. You will find a hidden box at the end of the walk and you will be asked to sign and hide again for the next visitor.

Venue 122: OutOfOrder Gallery

Artist Peter Messa turns the telephone box into the smallest gallery in the county. Visit and you will get a surprise during your journey. Thursday to Sunday, 11am to 6pm.

Venue 125: Places to Dream In

A special art installation in a wood above Chipstable. A nest built with natural materials that change and degrade over time by Liz Fathers and a carved four poster bed by Jane Mowat inviting the viewer to sleep and dream amongst the trees. Evening events of music, storytelling, singing or experience the quiet of the wood. Wed, Fri & Sun 6 - 8pm. Visitors advised to wear good footwear.

Venue 174: Unravelled

Leah Hislop performs a site-specific installation of weaving and light, alongside the installations created by Bryony Tidball and Nina Gronw-Lewis. Interactive weaving workshops on Saturday and Sunday; Storytelling by Jane Flood on Saturday 22nd; and final celebration on Sunday 30th. Open daily 11am to 6pm.

Venue 201: Everything and more

Shattering the idea of the artist’s studio by filling the venue with ideas, images, objects and creative detritus left behind by artists previously involved in OSR Projects. ‘Aspects of the creative process that usually remain hidden are disclosed revealing everything and more.’ Wed to Sat 11am to 6pm, Sun 11am to 4pm.

Venue 204: Pop-up Museum

Audio-visual artist-musicians Hacker Farm occupy an empty shop at Quedam Shopping Centre in Yeovil to create an art-space that’s part installation, part gallery, part museum, with hand-picked objects and archive materials from Community Heritage Access Centre in Yeovil. Workshops and performance on Saturday 22nd September 11am to 6pm.

Venue 212: Demonstration Day

A demonstration day organised by Somerset Guild of Craftsmen who invite the public to see makers and artists working in a wide range of medium. Saturday 16th September, 11am to 4pm.

Venue 220: Waterhole Event at Shave Farm

Visit the long-standing artists collaborative venue at Bruton. Feature artists Rowena Pearce, Terri Hogan, Kay Lewis-Bell, Tim Millar, Colin Bell, Annie Fry and Lin Hawkins. Special event on Saturday 15th September 11am to 6pm with bands, cafe and creative activities, to include stonecarving, clay, printmaking. Suitable for all ages.


How to get your free Art Weeks Guide:

The postage for our Art Weeks guide diverts valuable funds away from our artists and community projects. There are three ways you can get your guide and save us money:

- Download PDF version, please see at the bottom of this page

- Pick up a copy from libraries and Tourist Information Centres throughout Somerset.

- Send an A4 stamped, addressed envelope with £1.10 postage to: SAW Ltd., The Town Hall, Bow Street, Langport, TA10 9QR.

Either way, we want you to have our superb guide, so please choose the method that suits you best!

pdf_guide_complete.pdf12.79 MB