The Travelling Open Studio – Site Visits

It’s been an exciting week in terms of preparation for my travelling open studio – I can’t believe that it is only 10 days now till it sets off! With a project like this you organise the sites well in advance, but in the last few days it’s time for more thorough site-visits and deciding exactly where a pop up project will, well, pop up.

Yesterday I had a day that really made me realise just how potentially exciting this project will be – I went to four sites – the Blackmoore Reserve high up on the Mendips, Ebbor Gorge just up from Wookey Hole, Glastonbury Tor and Longrun Meadow in Taunton. There was one point when I was stood at Ebbor Gorge and staring out could see Glastonbury Tor miles away, and it was like seeing the project as a strange physical map of the county – different stops as beacons joining up certain points. And the differences between them – it was so exciting yesterday travelling from one atmosphere to another – just those four examples were like different worlds within the same county – Somerset is so varied…

Blackmoore Reserve is an old man made landscape from ancient mines that now hint at their presence through strange grassy lumps like weird hibernating creatures under the landscape.

Ebbor Gorge is a dramatic wooded gorge – tumbling down to Wookey Hole – it makes one think of secret realms and magical worlds – caves and forests…

And then the iconic Glastonbury Tor. I met with Ian – the lead ranger for The National Trust in North Somerset, who has been incredibly helpful,  and we viewed the lovely field at the base of the tor where we will stop – there are far reaching views across the levels – a fabulous view up to the tor… All these different perspectives that were amazing.

And then Longrun Meadow – a rural within an urban landscape – water meadows in the centre of Taunton. Me and the lovely Helen from The Friends of Longrun Meadow walked from a field bustling with teenagers to quiet groves of hazel, berries, willow, ditches and the riverside…

These are just a few of the stops – we’ll be deep in the forest in the Quantock Great Wood, in the centre of Bath at an 1815 abandoned and derelict lido, wetlands at the Avalon Marshes Centre, right in the centre of town in Minehead and Castle Cary, a busy farmers market in Dulverton, indoors in Somerton and then the coastal strangeness of Brean Down Fort. This project really will explore the landscapes of Somerset and their creative potential.

I hope that many people will visit and explore and create work inspired by these landscapes. You may want to visit the closest location to you, or look at the itinerary (in the brochure and the previous post on this blog) and choose the landscape you think you would find most interesting. My brain is starting to fill with ideas for writing, visual art and the transformation of the structure that will become an evolving artwork (a Sunbubble kindly donated by Haxnicks – a local Bristol company).

On a practical note I am also looking for volunteers to help me set up in each location – do let me know if you want to help at a specific stop on the itinerary!

Here are a few photos from my site-visits yesterday to wet your inspiration!

As to exact locations – for the above images – at Blackmoore Reserve we will set up in a rocky area off the path that leads towards the road – but I should be visible from other places across the reserve if you can’t find me straight away! At Ebbor Gorge I will be in the picnic area just off the bottom end of the car park. At Glastonbury Tor I will be in Moneybox Field at the bottom of the tor not far from the public entrance (bear in mind no parking at the tor). On Longrun Meadow it will be a school workshop during the day and then open to the public – I will probably stick to near the open barn as so many people walk past there, but do keep checking my twitter @ghostsosilver for updates and last minute location changes! Also do follow me on Instagram @ghostsosilver for continual image updates of the project.

Other exact locations: Minehead – in front of the Old Hospital, Dulverton – in the farmers market itself, Quantock Great Wood – Ramscombe picnic area – grassy area if dry – activity room if wet, Avalon Marshes Centre I’ll be around the garden area near Somerset Crafts, Burrow Mump – I’ll be visible from the car park, Somerton I will actually be inside the old town hall! And in Castle Cary just in the courtyard part of The Shambles – visible from the street. Bath I will be actually in Cleveland Pools – do check out their website for a map – it’s central but a little hidden! Brean Down Fort I will be by the cafe. But again – please do check twitter for updates. And check out the hashtag #somersetopenstudios16

Hope to see you soon!