A host of golden Dorset talent


This year’s Dorset Art Weeks is bolder and brighter than ever with more than 250 exciting venues showcasing local talent. Edwina Baines gives a preview of her favourites.

Dorset Art Weeks runs from 14 – 29 MAY 2022
The return of the Dorset Art Weeks new style printed Directory, with full venue information, alongside an improved Dorset Art Weeks App, and details on the DAW website, is good news for us all.
Artists will be looking forward to opening their doors again and larger venues are hosting group shows. With 257 venues it is impossible to give you more than a snapshot preview of the delights on offer – but to whet your appetites I have visited and chatted to artists from the six different County regions outlined in the Directory. I hope this helps with route planning!

Felice Hodges exhibition is in the stables of Abbey House, Witchampton
Image Edwina Baines

Felice Hodges (East)
The drive from Blandford or Wimborne takes you through rolling countryside – and a visit to Felice’s exhibition in the stables of Abbey House, Witchampton will be well worth the journey. An American, who was brought up in New York before moving to the UK, Felice’s parents were collectors; thus she was exposed to art at an early age. She works in acrylic paints as well as inks, chalks, pastels, charcoal and collage. The abstract works emerge from a joyful yet thoughtful, sensitive feel
for colour.

Felice Hodges works in acrylic paints as well as inks, chalks, pastels, charcoal and collage. “I like to challenge myself a lot, it’s constantly evolving.” – Image Edwina Baines

“I’m a big fan of pink, an underused colour in art,” she told me with a laugh, “I like to challenge myself a lot, it’s constantly evolving.” Certain motifs reappear and there is a degree of spontaneity but serendipity may also play a part in a splash of ink.
Without doubt, Felice is in complete control of her media.

John Goodliffe (North East)
John is a sculptor working in Purbeck Marble, Shaftesbury Greensand and Portland Stone. His brother sent him off on a sculpture course on Portland, which precipitated his journey into understanding the geology and history of his materials. On show during DAW will be a range of sculptures in and around John’s lovely garden in Iwerne Minster. With views across to Preston Hill, this is an ideal location to view the work in a
natural setting and admire the power and beauty of each piece. John showed me the various forms of stone with which he works: each has different properties and lends itself to various designs.

Local sculptor John Goodliffe from Iwerne Minster was sent on on a sculpture course on Portland by his
brother, and has never looked back – Image Edwina Baines.

For example, a piece of Greensand was being turned into a pair of lizards, the colour and form of the stone
lending itself to these reptiles; whereas the harsher beauty of the Portland stone was suited to more geometric designs and finer detail. Also in the beautiful village of Iwerne Minster (which boasts a pub and a village shop) are painters Saskia Darell and Kim Pragnell.

Claire Cameron creates small stylised sculptures of dogs from her home in the Purbecks.
Image Edwina Baines

Claire Cameron (Purbeck)
Claire Cameron will take commissions to make a ‘pawtrait’ in clay to capture the personality of your pet in a unique sculpture. She also produces small stylised sculptures of dogs set on a scene of your choice, for example Kimmeridge, Durdle Door or Corfe Castle.
She told me that “being able to combine my passion for ceramics with my love of dogs, means that each sculpture is an absolute privilege to make.”
In a beautiful 19th century barn at Creech near Wareham, Claire is joined by Caroline Slark, (Kezmee Studio glass) and Ted Edley (The Dorset Copperfish). The latter is known for his truly unique metalwork sculptures
and TV appearances on ‘Salvage Hunters: The Restorers’. His works will also be on show in the FORM exhibition at Sculpture by the Lakes.

Vanessa Bowman works from her studio in Cattistock. Her vibrant still lifes and whimsical landscape illustrations have adorned numerous magazines, notebooks and greetings cards. Image Edwina Baines

Vanessa Bowman (North West)
Vanessa’s studio is nestled at the top end of her lovely garden in the centre of Cattistock village. From here she paints in rich detail the simple beauty of her everyday surroundings observed in the garden or whilst out walking with her little white terrier.
The vibrant colours of her still lifes and whimsical landscape illustrations have adorned numerous magazines, notebooks and greetings cards; a huge range of which will be on sale at special prices alongside her prints and original oil paintings.
An assortment of her favourite jugs, vases, shells and knick-knacks (most of which have been collected in flea markets over the years), line the studio shelves and feature in many works. Cattistock boasts a pub and a dear little village shop with a delightful café – of which I can give a personal recommendation.

Podi Lawrence in her studio in Fortuneswell. Podi has been a professional portrait and
andscape painter for fifty years. Image Edwina Baines

Podi Lawrence (South)
If you venture across to Portland then ensure you make a stop at Podi Lawrence’s Art studio in Fortunesewell. Her studio doubles as a gallery where space is shared with textile artist Antje Rook.
Podi is a portrait and landscape painter but she also runs classes and annual Greek painting holidays
in Kalymnos. She told me ”I have been teaching since 1988 and whatever their level, I love to help
people on their creative journey. I still learn new ways and I’ve been painting professionally for at
least fifty years.” She welcomes guests and is happy for them to browse and chat about her work. Six
further artists also will be exhibiting at ArtSpace82 in Fortuneswell and there are six other venues to
visit on Portland.

At Barbara Green’s home, with its stunning views across to Charmouth, Lyme Bay and the sea, visitors will enjoy a mini
art trail full of Barbara’s colourful, lively paintings, prints and etchings through the garden before entering the house and gallery.
Image Edwina Baines

Barbara Green (West)
The turning to Whitchurch Canonicorum off the A35 at Morcombelake will lead you to Manscombe Abbey and on the slopes of the Hardown Hill, to Barbara Green’s delightful house and garden with stunning views across to Charmouth, Lyme Bay and the sea.
Barbara is a regular contributor to Dorset Art Weeks and before entering the house and gallery, a mini art trail full of Barbara’s colourful, lively paintings, prints and etchings will guide the visitor through the garden. She is inspired, “… from walks along the coast and through the countryside of Dorset making sketches which capture the essence of the places seen. The constantly changing colours and textures of the area, the weather, the buildings and the people are all captured in my paintings.”
We are indeed lucky to have this patchwork of talent across Dorset so let’s make the most of the forthcoming weeks!

Interviews by Edwina Baines edwina@theblackmorevale.co.uk


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