A tale of two tors, deep forest, meadows and wetlands – first days’ plans.

So this Saturday is the start of The Travelling Open Studio! Very exciting… I hope lots of people will come and create work or just chat about ideas and I’m looking forward on a personal level to what I may write and make. But this post is a practical one – final details and what to expect from the first few days before I set off.

The first day I have nicknamed The Day of Two Tors – Glastonbury Tor (bottom in Moneybox Field 10 am on wards – please remember no parking!) and then Burrow Mump from 3pm (there is a small car park). In some ways Burrow Mump looks like a mini Glastonbury Tor, but what fascinates me and I wonder if other people will find, is that when up close their atmosphere is completely different – whether it’s the location – Burrowbridge feels far deeper into the flat watery expanses of The Levels – or the personality of the architecture. But what they do have in common is a sense of magic and strangeness – an ancient man-made intangible something as well as the natural surroundings that it will be really interesting to try and capture.

But there is a practical note for this day too! In the morning at Glastonbury the Sunbubble structure will be up and I will be running it as a drop in studio with the portable temporary gallery/shelter/evolving artwork that that entails. Drop by any time from 5 minutes to a couple of hours – you are more than welcome. I will be packing up around 1.30 – 1.45.

At Burrow Mump of course all are welcome again, but I have been thinking about running some of the afternoon stops when there are two in one day slightly differently. On a practical note I think setting up the Sunbubble twice might be pushing it, but that is not the real reason. With all the different landscapes and school and public stops, I thought it might be nice to run a couple of the stops as laid back workshops where people can come and talk and explore the place with me – working on art and writing – perhaps even investigating the idea of visual poetry. I think this might add a really interesting different dynamic to the work created on the project. With this in mind I think I will test this out at Burrow Mump. I would suggest meeting me at the gate at either 3pm or 4pm for an hour’s workshop/explore. If you can’t make these exact times don’t worry – just come and find us and join in. All ages welcome – if all children turn up I will turn it into a kids workshop, but my original idea is more of a one for age 14 to adult. It might be particularly interesting for people curious about the links between writing and visual art. It is of course for all levels in keeping with the ethos of this project.

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Then Sunday (18th) it’s off to the Quantocks – from the flat levels to hills and deep forest, as my stop will be Ramscombe picnic area in the Great Wood. There is parking there and toilets – why not bring a picnic too? I will set up the studio structure on the grass but I will encourage people to really explore the woods. Andy the lead ranger will be on hand to advise on walks and there will be lots of amazing brash and other natural materials to create little land art sculptures as well as any other work you might be interested in exploring. I will be there from 10.30 until 5 or 6 depending on visitors.

Please note on all these stops that I have limited basic craft materials and will be encouraging the use of found materials in keeping with the site-specific nature of this project. You are more than welcome to come and paint for example,  and I have kids paint, but if you are say a serious watercolour artist, you will want to bring your own.

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Then Monday is the first schools day at Longrun Meadow in Taunton – a change of landscape again, interesting in how it is both rural and urban. I will be running the workshops until the end of the school day, but then I will be running a twilight session. I am this stage undecided as to whether to set up the structure for a couple of hours and be limited to one place or whether to run this session also as a series of exploring workshops with kick off on the half hour from 3.30pm, meeting at the Open Barn. I think the latter would be interesting, but I will tweet my decision. If I do set up the Sunbubble it will either be near the Open Barn – not the nicest bit of the meadows, but very visible, or if I feel people will still walk by I have a preference for by the Willow Cathedral… If you are a potential Taunton twilight session visitor do keep an eye on my twitter @ghostsosilver for updates – I will tweet final arrangements during the day.

Then Tuesday I will be at the Avalon Marshes Centre near Somerset Crafts, which I also recommend you visit, in the garden area. The Sunbubble studio will be up all day from 10-5, and I would also encourage people here to explore this amazing wetland nature reserve.

I think that is all for now! Do keep up to date with twitter and don’t forget the Somerset Open Studios hashtag #SomersetOpenStudios16

Do keep an eye on this blog – once the project kicks off it will become the online gallery/archive for the work created during the tour and the evolution of the collaborative piece.

Hopefully see you soon!

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