What's on in pictures

Over the rainbow at the Somerset Museum

SOMERSET photographer Jason Bryant’s new exhibition of photographs from the lockdown should have been at the Museum of Somerset, but is available online instead. Reaching for Rainbows: the Lockdown Photography of Jason Bryant, on view at swheritage.org.uk, documents an extraordinary time in the history of Somerset. The collection of 60 images chronicles the experiences of…

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Tamarind and The Star of Ishta

SOMERSET-based author Jasbinder Bilan has followed up her Costa Children’s Book Award-winning debut novel with a delightful new story, which similarly draws on her family background in India close to the Himalayas. Jasbinder came with her family to the UK when she was still barely a toddler, but although they lived in a big city…

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Sharing music and film with dementia sufferers

WINDROSE, the rural media charity, has set up an innovative project that combines live singing and old films, provided by internet technology for people in Wiltshire who are living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Folk singer and song collector Amanda Boyd worked with Alzheimer’s Support Wiltshire to deliver interactive Zoom sessions, which included fascinating old footage…

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Celebrate British Game Week

IT’S healthy and affordable, and it tastes delicious. Game is good for you, and this week is British Game Week, so what better time to try some of the best that the British countryside has to offer. Game is making a big comeback in the UK, according to the founders of Bristol-based game specialist Wild…

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Santa and his elf on your doorstep

TWO of Bristol’s best-known performers are bringing a festive entertainment of fun and mischief to delight children in the BS3 area of the city, from Thursday 3rd to Wednesday 23rd December. Created by Stewart Wright and Lucy Tuck, in association with Tobacco Factory Theatres, BS3 Santa combines street theatre with a travelling Santa’s grotto. The…

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Barn owls have a new roof over their heads

A TEAM of carpenters, tilers and scaffolders have rescued Bere Marsh Farm’s barn owls from winter homelessness in the nick of time. Just a few months after the Countryside Restoration Trust purchased the farm near Shillingstone, an appeal was launched to raise funds to repair the building which has been the barn owls’ home for…

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Plein air with Nick Andrew

WE may all be stuck in lockdown again, but you can still get out in the fresh air. Well-known Wiltshire artist Nick Andrew is enjoying plein air drawing for a new project, A Gap in the Market, exploring Salisbury’s historic Charter Market throughout the coming year. All the drawings, including The Happy Fruiters Stall, Salisbury…

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Farm Shop and Deli Awards 2021

THE search is on to find the best local food retailer in the South West, with the launch of the Farm Shop and Deli Awards 2021. Local food retailers including butchers, bakers, greengrocers and farm shops have been among the lockdown heroes during the pandemic. Over the last few months there have been so many…

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Surprise award for BridLit director

THERE was a surprise for Bridport Literary Festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart when she took to the stage of the Electric Palace to thank speaker Sir Barney White-Spunner, after his talk about his book, Berlin – George Streatfeild, the High Sheriff of Dorset, in full formal regalia, came on to the platform to present her with…

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Rachel Sargent online

NORTH Dorset artist Rachel Sargent should have had a busy autumn, like so many artists, performers, writers and others, with exhibitions, fairs, festivals and more. But the irresistible resurgence of Covid-19 has put paid to them. So Rachel has decided to bring her studio to her audience, virtually. After studying painting at the Roehampton Institute,…

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Land of Light for Longleat Christmas 2020

THE Wiltshire landscape around Longleat will be magically transformed into the Land of Light this winter as part of a new event, now running from 3rd December to 10th January 2021.  Through technology, art and interactive installations, Land of Light features thousands of spectacular light sources, illuminating seven themed areas across the estate. The show will…

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Lockdown do’s and don’ts in South Somerset

SOUTH Somerset District Council has announced steps that have been taken to comply with the government’s new lockdown which is due to run until Wednesday 2nd December. The council’s actions are intended to ensure public safety in line with the new guidelines. The website will be continually updated with any actions as further details around…

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Flea the Pandemic, back to 2021

THE Covid-19 pandemic has inevitably revived interest in earlier mass infections – the Spanish flu of 100 years ago and the infamous Black Death of the mid 14th- century. Sturminster Newton’s Taboo Theatre Company, working with playwright Sue Ashby, will bring the story of this plague that killed untold millions across Europe to the stage…

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Community play postponed

THE continuing pandemic and Covid restrictions have forced Dorchester Community Play Association to postpone the next play, Spinning the Moon, until it is safe to continue with rehearsals and performances. The play, which has a cast and crew of almost 200 people, was due to be performed at Thomas Hardye School in April this year,…

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Robin Redbreast flies in for Playhouse Christmas

THERE may not be a pantomime at Salisbury Playhouse this year, thanks to the coronavirus, but there will be a show for young children and their families. Wiltshire Creative has announced the return of Little Robin Redbreast, from 7th to 27th December. This delightful festive treat, which played to sell-out audiences at the Salberg studio…

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Drams from Dartmoor

TEN years of planning and maturing in the barrels have come to fruition with the release of Dartmoor Whisky, the ideal Christmas gift for any fan of single malt. Distilled and aged in the West Country’s first whisky distillery, at the gateway to Dartmoor the former in Bovey Tracey Town Hall, this whisky is firmly…

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A festive British Farmstead Cheese Board

DEVON-based farmhouse cheesemaker Quicke’s has unveiled the line-up for its first ever British Farmstead Cheese Board, hand-picked to be at their best during the Christmas festivities. Partnering with other artisan cheesemakers across the region, who craft their cheeses from milk produced within metres of the dairy, Mary Quicke has curated a winter cheese selection that…

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It’s all going wrong – oh yes it is!

THE bad news is that there won’t, after all, be a pantomime at Bath Theatre Royal this year. The good news is that the theatre will have a welcome return for the West End comedy hit, The Play That Goes Wrong. So while Cinderella will have to wait for her prince until 2021, audiences will…

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Christmas dates at Wells for Tasmin Little

NEW dates before Christmas have been confirmed for two concerts at Wells Cathedral by the renowned violinist, Tasmin Little. Earlier this month, the internationally renowned musician’s two planned Remembrance Concerts at Wells Cathedral were cancelled due to the second lockdown, so the cathedral authorities are thrilled to report the new dates in December. Tasmin Little…

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New work from Zara McQueen

SHAFTESBURY artist Zara McQueen was looking forward to a joint exhibition at Shaftesbury Arts Centre with fellow North Dorset artist Percy Lizzard, but Covid-19 and the latest lockdown put a stop to it. However Zara and Percy have got together to show some of their new work online for two weeks. Percy is best known…

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Pop-up shop at The Story Pig

FARMERS James and Charlotte Hull, who rear Tamworth pigs at their farm on the edge of Sandford Orcas near Sherborne, are running a pop-up shop at the farm every Saturday, from 10am to 2pm. The couple, who farm on sustainable and high welfare principles, describe the meat from their rare breed animals as “a taste…

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Magical ancient woods

ONE of my favourite things to do is walk in woods, and one of the most magical woods in the country is Wistman’s Wood on Dartmoor. The latest exhibition by The Arborealists, the group of professional artists whose work focuses on trees and forests, is Trees and Woodland on Exmoor and Dartmoor, currently on view…

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Flying on the Shepton art trail

ONE of Somerset’s best-known and most versatile artists, Fiona Campbell, has installed a wire sculpture of a blackbird above the entrance to The Art Bank, Shepton Mallet. The work is part of a Bird Trail around the town, commissioned by Shepton Town Council. Seven artists have created British bird sculptures using natural and recycled materials…

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Bristol actor in Small Axe

BRISTOL actor Stewart Wright is among the cast of Small Axe, an important drama anthology of five films by Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen, telling stories of London’s West Indian community between the late 1960s and mid-1980s. Stewart, 46, stars alongside BAFTA-award winning Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) and Daniel Francis (Disney/ABC’s Once…

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Now you see it …

AND then it’s gone for another month … It was great to welcome back exhibitions at the Slade Centre at Gillingham, newly refurbished and with a cafe serving delicious cakes and good coffee. And the first exhibition, Field and Feather, paintings by North Dorset-based Ursula Leach and prints and sculpturs by her close friend, Jayne…

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Roche Court open air

MOST galleries are closed because of Lockdown 2, but the New Art Centre’s open air collection, the Roche Court Sculpture Park, at Winterslow near Salisbury, can be visited (booking is essential). Each week the gallery picks its Work of the Week – this week’s is the witty and delightful Celloswarm, a 2002 sculpture in bronze,…

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The early years of a National Treasure

BATH’s Holburne Museum, now open for visits after the lockdown, has a major exhibition of work by one of the country’s best-loved artists. Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years runs to 3rd January 2021. This is the first exhibition to survey Perry’s earliest forays into the art world, featuring the exciting, radical works he made between…

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