Dorset showcases creative talent

DORSET Art Weeks, this year from 14th to 29th May, is a major biennial celebration of Dorset’s artists and makers, this year attracting entries from more than 250 painters, potters, sculptors, photographers, textile artists and others, across the county.

It is one of the country’s largest open studio and visual arts festivals, a showcase of creativity that also provides an opportunity for locals and visitors to explore this beautiful county’s lanes, villages, arts venues and galleries.

From traditional Dorset Buttons with a contemporary twist to watercolours created using masking tape, this 30th Dorset Art Weeks offers a range of events that is ever more inspiring, eclectic and diverse.

Anna McDowell, at Donhead St Mary, uses traditional techniques to make Dorset Buttons with a contemporary twist. This year marks 400 years of Dorset Buttons, which were first produced as a cottage industry in Shaftesbury. Anna has developed the craft and uses sustainable sari silks and colourful yarns from villages in India to create her new designs.

Among other artists taking part are:

• Painter and lithographer Göran Hahne whose watercolours involve a technique he developed while painting on boats in his native Sweden, using a scalpel to finely cut pieces of masking tape for each layer of colour.

• Alison Webber, exhibiting her monochrome photography in Dorchester.


• Galiani Glass Art, Gail Boothman and Ian Godfrey, showing colourful contemporary glass including garden sculptures, jewellery, wall hangings and splashbacks, in Poole.

• John Meaker, showing life paintings and drawings, portraits and ‘spontaneous graffiti’ at Abbotsbury.

• Painter Barbara Green at Morcombelake.

* Liz Wright, showing her illustrations for the newly published Escapes to the Countryside, on Portland.

* Paul Matthews, at Puddletown.

• Pearl Gatehouse at Yetminster.

* Miranda Pender at Sherborne.

• Botanical artist Sally Pinhey at West Stafford.

• Painter Rachel Sargent and glass artist Emsie Sharp at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford.

• Equestrian artist Katie Scorgie at Hinton St Mary.

and three Blandford artists, painter Joe Nuttgens, mixed media artist Sheila Martin and ceramicist Lucy Yarwood, at Artisan House in East Street, Blandford.

The Dorset Art Weeks Guide is available online and from libraries, galleries, museums and other cultural centres across Wessex. More information at

Pictured: Aspen, by Sally Pinhey; painting by Rachel Sargent and glass by Emsie Sharp; landscape painting by Pearl Gatehouse; boats (Sunlight Through Gap, Lyme Regis) by Barbara Green; Fishing Huts and Boats by Goran Hahne; Raucous in the Reeds, by Sam Dodd; Meander, drypoint etching by Jacy Wall.