What's on in pictures

Love is in the air for these tiny foxes

LONGLEAT keepers are hoping love is in the ear for a pair of the world’s smallest foxes. These super-cute Fennec foxes, Anthony and Zuri, are part of an international breeding programme for the diminutive canines at the safari park. Reaching a maximum length of under 40 cms and weighing less than two kilogrammes, the fennec…

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Success for Longleat’s rare tortoise

KEEPERS at Longleat are celebrating the success of their pancake tortoise breeding programme. No fewer than five critically endangered baby pancake tortoises have been born at the safari park in the last year. The eldest of the quintet, Syrup, celebrated his first birthday, appropriately on Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). He was joined by siblings Banana,…

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New rangers at Ham Hill Country Park

FUNDING from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage has helped South Somerset District Council appoint three rangers who will help keep Ham Hill Country Park and its heritage protected and in tip-top shape for wildlife to thrive and visitors to enjoy. The funding is a rescue package to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across England…

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In Arcadia at Messums

AN online exhibition by Messums Wiltshire, based at the historic tithe barn at Tisbury, features paintings, many of them never previously exhibited, by the English artist, Henry Lamb, who lived at Coombe Bissett near Salisbury for many years. In Arcadia, which continues to 13th March, focuses on paintings of the English countryside between the wars,…

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Riisager at The Art Stable

LANDSCAPE painter Christopher Riisager returns to The Art Stable at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, for an exhibition of recent work, Day By Day, from 6th February to 6th March. Since graduating from Goldsmiths with a BA in Fine Art in 1984, Christopher Riisager has built a profound knowledge of the landscapes he loves…

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Three-year grant for Artsreach

DORSET Council has announced a three-year funding programme for Artsreach which will keep touring arts alive in rural communities across the county. The small team at Artsreach is understandably delighted at the news that the application to the Dorset Council Organisational Revenue Support Fund had been successful, securing the future of rural touring for the…

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In Search of Cinderella, a peripatetic online pantomime

I WAS driving through nearby villages last week, and miserably missing all those posters advertising Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, Dick Whittington (and of course Cinderella) that you’d expect to see taped to lamp-posts at this time of year. Covid-19 has scuppered all performances in early 2021, and those pantomimes have been a…

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Wiltshire residency for graduate glassmaker

ONE of the country’s leading glassmaking workshops, Devereux & Huskie Glassworks, based near the canal on the outskirts of Trowbridge, are providing a four-day residency for Calum Dawes, winner of the Contemporary Glass Society’s 2021 Amanda Moriarty Prize. The prize is in memory of Amanda Moriarty, a long serving CGS board member and honorary treasurer…

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The Mother of All Pageants inspires documentary

FANS of the Mapp and Lucia books and television adaptations may remember the pageant (in which Lucia, predictably, played Elizabeth I), EF Benson was inspired by the popularity of pageants in the years of the 20th century – and one of the finest was staged in Sherborne. A documentary film inspired by the Sherborne Pageant…

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Lighthouse after Covid

POOLE’s Lighthouse centre for the arts is closed, as part of the Covid-19 lockdown, but the team is looking ahead, announcing events for the summer,. These include a performance of Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius by Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, in memory of the choir’s trustee and music advisor, Sandrey Date, on Sunday 13th June at…

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It fits! I won! … Somerset’s own Cinderella

IT’s January! It’s dark! It’s cold! Christmas is over and we’re all in tiers and even tears! We’re fed up! We’re bored! We want some fun! We want some laughs! WE WANT A PANTOMIME! Of course you do. It’s that time of year. It’s only natural! But the theatres are all closed. The seats are…

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10 Parishes Festival turns over a New Leaf

REGISTRATION is open for the 2021 biennial 10 Parishes Festival, which is planned to run from 11th to 19th September. The festival promotes and celebrates visual and performing arts in the parishes of Wiveliscombe, and the surrounding villages, Fitzhead, Milverton, Clatworthy, Brompton Ralph, Huish Champflower, Chipstable, Waterrow, Stawley and Ashbrittle. The usual January festival launch…

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Yeovil Literary Prize

THE Yeovil Community Arts Association (YCAA) has launched its 2021 international Literary Prize, an annual writing competition with cash prizes in four categories. All money raised supports talented, local youngsters training for careers in the performing and creative arts. Now in its 18th year, the Yeovil Literary Prize has become a highly regarded writing competition,…

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Folk tale inspires film

A NEW short film by Millstream Theatre, the Museum of East Dorset’s resident company of learning disabled actors, is based on a magical folk tale collected by traditional storyteller Duncan Williamson. The Woodcutter and the Swan was originally a devised theatre piece. Due to Covid-19, Millstream Theatre, with co-directors, Tony Horitz and Tam Gilbert, have…

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Highlighting the peasant farmers’ plight

A NEW film from La Via Campesina, the international organisation which campaigns for the rights of small farmers, peasants and indigenous peoples, focuses on the problems facing young people in rural areas. The Feast:Tong-Tong, produced in conjunction with ZIN TV, was created during a youth meeting of La Via Campesina in Senegal. What is it…

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Exciting future for Yeovil Octagon

YEOVIL’S Octagon Theatre, which has provided the launchpad for many professional careers in theatre, music and dance, as well as bringing a huge variety of performances to audiences across the region, will be enlarged and improved in a £23m expansion, approved in principle by South Somerset District Councillors. The scheme includes a new circle of…

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Gardiner conducts Brahms

DORSET-born conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner joins the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the internationally acclaimed pianist Stephen Hough for a concert streamed live from Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre on Wednesday 24th February at 7.30pm. The main work will be Brahms’ magnificent Piano Concerto No 1, following the opening work, Schumann’s Genoveva overture. The presenter will…

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Reading Is Magic – and free

FREE access has been extended for events in last year’s successful Reading is Magic Festival, organised by Bath Children’s Literature Festival. The autumn event, featuring a line-up of top children and young adults’ writers and illustrators, reached more than 155,000 children in 30 countries. Festival organisers, who realised that they weren’t able to put on…

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Take a walk on the wild side

IF you love the natural world and walking and can spare a few hours a week, the Countryside Restoration Trust has the perfect volunteer role for you at its showcase farm at Bere Marsh near Shillingstone in Dorset. It’s a great opportunity to get involved in the transformation project which is now under way at…

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The art of furniture as art

FRED Baier is not a household name, but for those interested in cutting edge furniture design –  the point at which function is almost secondary to art, he is one of the most exciting and creative makers in the world. And he lives and works in Wiltshire. Described by historian and curator Glenn Adamson as…

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Weston Foundation grant for Poole’s Lighthouse

POOLE’s Lighthouse centre for the arts is one of more than 100 UK arts organisations to benefit from the Weston Culture Fund, established in response to the impacts of Covid-19 by the Garfield Weston Foundation, one of the country’s most respected charitable institutions with a long history of supporting arts and culture in the community….

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Lottery cash for Outsider project

BOSCOMBE-based The Outsiders Project has been awarded £175,000 to deliver creative activities for local people who are struggling with their health and well-being. The Outsiders Project provides a creative outlet to help participants deal with some of the everyday issues caused by managing health problems, which may stem from previous drug and alcohol abuse or…

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Viewing the landscape

HOW do we see the world? The new exhibition online at Sladers Yard gallery and arts venue in West Bay explores the idea of seeing the landscape through the paintings of three very different artists. In the Mind’s Eye, running from 30th January to 13th March, looks at the power of memory and imagination in…

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Gillingham and Shaftesbury Show – back over two days

THE Gillingham & Shaftesbury Show will be back this year, helping to reunite the rural community safely, over two days in 2021, on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th August. It will be the first time that the long-established one-day show has been held over two days, and will help to ensure its safe return during…

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On tour with Inch by IN:CH

AN artist-led project, curated by the Bath-based artist group IN:CH, is bringing contemporary art out of the gallery and into the communal areas of our everyday lives with Inch by IN:CH, a “portable travelling exhibition”. The 11 artists, all working in the South West, practise a variety of art forms, and in this new project…

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