Pick of the Week 2015

May's Picks Selected by Sally Watkins

May 25-31

Soil Culture: Dig it

Peninsula Arts
Until Saturday 30 May

Lisa Hirmer, Emma Saffy Wilson

Soil – earth – muck – dirt – from agriculture to architecture, soil is essential to life on earth and continued human survival and development.

Grappling with this essential substance, the Peninsula Arts Gallery transforms itself into a soil–laboratory using the Arts to inspire a deeper public understanding of the importance of soil - a resource on which the whole of civilization depends but many take for granted.

'One of several of the soil culture residencies it will be great to find out more about Lisa Hirmer's approach. Having enjoyed exploring her website, Dodolab, there appears to be both humour and rich questioning in her work. This along with Emma Saffy’s Wilson’s paintings and sculpture, makes for a provocative ‘soil laboratory’.'

Guest Editor Sally Watkins

Find out more


May 18-24

Magister Dixit, Emma Smith

Until Wednesday 30 September

Admission Fee: Included in house admission (£13.90 adult / £7 child / free for National Trust Members)

Magister Dixit is an interactive sculpture by Emma Smith, developed in collaboration with National Trust volunteers at Tyntesfield as part of New Expressions 3.

It is a curious object, which contorts itself to engage audiences in different ways. You can read from it, play a game on it, explore items from the collection, give a recital, or deliver your very own public service. Focusing on the power of the spoken word, the work is inspired by the history of performance, ritual and service at Tyntesfield.

'Just the language of this work is enticing and it was tempting to try to learn more by reading Emma’s blog, but I get the feeling this is one to go into with less information rather than more. Magister Dixit is described as both ‘invitation and an archive’ and as ‘an interactive sculpture’. It’s great to see so many intriguing and experimental projects around text and book practices at the moment.'

Guest Editor Sally Watkins

Find out more


May 11-17

An Intervention

John Hansard Gallery
Preview: Monday 6-8pm
Continues until Saturday 27 June

Alice Channer, Ian Kiaer, Kitty Kraus, Philip Lai, Bojan Sarcevic 

An Intervention is concerned with the carefully chosen use of materials, and their placement, presence and situation within a gallery context. The group show includes artists whose work utilises material intrinsic to their practice, and those whose contemporary ideals harness those of key Modernist architects, such as Mies van der Rohe and American Frank Lloyd Wright. Truth to materials, a tenet of modern architecture, underpins the exhibition and prioritises material as function to often heighten the meaning or essence of an object.

'Paired down and viewed in the context of gallery spaces, I’m curious to see how these materials work together as well as alone. Already, I’m imagining that I will want to spend time with this piece, looking for connections, resonances and dislocations between materials, space and context.'

Guest Editor Sally Watkins

Find out more


May 4-10

Immersed in 360

Salisbury Arts Centre
Until Thursday 7 May

Following over 150million views of her signature underwater wheelchair performance and powerful TED talk, internationally acclaimed artist Sue Austin curates new work, inviting you to become ‘Immersed in 360’ in her home town of Torrington, Devon, and at the innovative Salisbury Arts Centre this spring.

'Sue Austin determinedly pursues making work that is both innovative and inclusive, and core to her practice as a maker and performer. Immersed in 360 suggests immersion as experience and theme for audiences and I’m interested in how Sue as a curator will invite people into this new field of work.'

Guest Editor Sally Watkins

Find out more


What's On

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Linda Brothwell Conversations in Making

Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE

Friday 24 May 2019 – Sunday 24 November 2019

Exeter's Fine Art Collection: A Sense of Place

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX

Tuesday 18 June 2019 – Sunday 15 March 2020

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

Supported by: