There are 8 exhibitions/studios available in and around Bruton and 5 in and around Castle Cary. Not all were open today but of those that were the highlights, for me, were Photographer, Mark Pickthall at his Studio in Bruton and the Exhibition ‘Russians in Somerset’ at the Old Bank House, Cafe/Wine Bar, Castle Cary.
Here is Mark Pickthall with his wonderful exhibition ‘Light and Fire’, a collaboration with artists and dancers capturing the beauty of fire and performance arts.
Hauser & Wirth on the edge of Bruton is a wonderful gallery and multi-purpose arts centre, attached to a stylish restaurant, the Roth Bar & Grill. The galleries and the restaurant are housed in a combination of restored, historic barns, other converted agricultural outbuildings and modern additions set in the grounds of the former Durslade Farmhouse. The quality of the restorations and the modern architecture is outstanding. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the quality of the current exhibitions. One is a collection of sketches and clay models that would shame a primary school and the others are large paintings that were a waste of paint and canvas. The exhibits masquerade as ‘modern and innovative’. Sadly, they were neither. The emotive response was not so much shock of the new but shockingly bad.
I am sure that the food on offer at Hauser and Wirth is first class but we opted for The Chapel in the centre of Bruton. It is a converted 17th Century Chapel and Grade II listed building with a huge, stone, wood-fired pizza/bread oven and a great menu. Here is a snap from the balcony.
‘Russians in Somerset’ at Castle Cary was a collaboration between the Chairman of Somerset Arts Weeks and four prominent Russian artists following a trip to St Petersburg in 2016. The artists visited Somerset and painted at historic landscapes and landmarks. My favourites were models or minature ‘installations’ of garage/workshops and artists studios perfectly crafted inside what looked like antique display cases.