Explore, Inspect, Excavate

Image Credit: Sue Lowe

Contains Art Studios (SAW Venue 61), East Quay, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0AQ


Saturday 23 September 2017 – Sunday 08 October 2017
Opening Hours: 11am-6pm daily

Watchet will, once again, be a key destination during Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2017 (23 September to 8 October), the annual, county-wide art trail celebrating the visual arts. Three venues in the centre of Watchet are open daily and the town is a great base for exploring other West Somerset venues, clustered nearby around Crowcombe, Washford , Williton and Old Cleeve and westward to Minehead and Exmoor. 

Contains Art opens its studios, with work on view by resident artists Sue Lowe (printmaking), Georgina Towler (painting), Valerie Berry (ceramics and painting) and guests Cecilia Leete (jewellery) and Adam Gross (painting and print). They are:

Sue Lowe (Printmaking): Sue’s work is concerned with textures and surfaces and draws inspiration from the lines, patterns and layers found in landscape and nature. Recent work focuses on the coastal geology of West Somerset. Sue uses found and recycled materials to create richly-textured, limited edition prints. More info: sue.lowe1523@btinternet.com

Georgina Towler (Painting): Georgina’s work explores expansive environments, experience and memory. She creates metaphorical and suggestive imaginings of her surroundings, uniting and fragmenting painted landscapes with hard-edged geometric shapes, 3-dimensional form and negative space. More info: www.georginatowler.com

Valerie Berry (Ceramics & Painting): Val is inspired by the geological textures and contours of the West Somerset coastline. Layers of texture are built up on the surface of the pot and the canvas, incorporating found objects and organic material from the local beaches. More info: valerieberry.art@gmail.com

Cecilia Leete (Jewellery): The sensuous and physical material of Cecilia's jewellery reflects the contrasting weight and softness of the rocks and pebbles of West Somerset's beaches. She introduces cracks, fissures and striations into her work, inspired by this rugged coastline, and brings texture and pattern to her subtle designs. More info: www.cecilialeete.com

Alongside Contains Art studios, the gallery will host, New Wave, an exhibition curated by Toni Davey, at Contains Art's gallery, on Watchet's harbourside, promises to be a highlight of the festival. In a reunion of alumni from West Somerset College, the exhibition presents the work of more than thirty professional artists, designers and makers who are carving out successful careers in a range of creative fields, after beginning their art education in the Minehead college's art department. Work is linked through themes suggested by Katsushika Hokusai's iconic woodcut print 'The Great Wave'. A must-see for young people contemplating a career in the arts the show also invites reflection on the future of art education in England.

Just a short walk away, in Anchor Street, Watchet's planned new Radio Museum is the venue for five more local artists: Jill Newton (illustration), Scarlet von Teazel (multimedia), Martyn Lintern (sculpture), Jenny Barron (painting) and Jan Martin (printmaker).

All work is on sale at reasonable prices, but visitors are welcome to just browse and chat, finding out more about the artists working in and around the town.

Several events during the fortnight help to celebrate the creative festival:

Friday 22nd September, 6 - 8pm, is the launch event for 'New Wave'. All are welcome to come to Contains Art to meet artists taking part and enjoy a glass of wine and a relaxed look at the exciting work on display in the gallery and studios.

A community event on September 23rd, 2-5pm, offers papermaking and papercraft activities for children and families, plus music, food and drinks for all enjoy. This forms part of the ongoing heritage project, involving a number of Watchet organisations in celebrating the history of Wansbrough Paper Mill. The heritage exhibition, launched last week, continues on The Esplanade and in the Watchet Market House Museum throughout September.

Also on Saturday 23rd the artists at the Radio Museum have an evening opening, from 6pm. All welcome.

Sunday 1 October is Watchet's regular, monthly Street Fair. There will be stalls on The Esplanade selling crafts, produce, food and snacks. Visitors are welcome to relax in Contains Art’s courtyard during the day.

On the evening of Tuesday 3 October, 7.30 pm, presentations and talks about the New Wave exhibition will offer further insights into the work on show and the artists represented. Senior lecturers at local colleges will open a discussion about the value of an art education.

During the final weekend, 7-8 October, of the festival, venues are encouraged to offer Family-Friendly activities. In Watchet a town trail guide, with questions and puzzles to solve, will be available on Saturday 7 October to take families on a treasure hunt walk around the town, encouraging curiosity about all the many things that artists do.

All in all there is something for everyone in Watchet during Somerset Art Weeks 2017.


Back to events

Other Events

Dorset Art Weeks 2018


Saturday 26 May 2018 – Wednesday 10 October 2018

Them, Again!

The Courtyard Gallery, The Town Mill, Mill Lane, Lyme Regis DT7 3PU

Friday 29 June 2018 – Wednesday 11 July 2018

Michael Porter in The Picture Room 2018

Newlyn Art Gallery, New Road, Newlyn, TR18 5PZ

Saturday 29 September 2018 – Saturday 05 January 2019

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: