Monday, 3 March 2014

Buxton - A Source of Artistic Inspiration

At one point it looked as if the strapline for Buxton as a town was going to be 'a source of inspiration' and I still think there's some mileage in that, not just because of its clever spa water wordplay but because it happens to be true.

Walking through Pavilion Gardens I saw that a massive, ugly tree trunk is swathed in scaffolding and about to be transformed into something rich and strange by wood sculptor Andrew Frost. Andrew was fighting his way in as I passed and already attracting smiles and interest from strollers in the gardens curious as to what he was up to.

Trees as it happened were in my mind as not only have I inherited a stack of paintings from my late father but in amongst his notes was a written plan for a tree picture he was planning to complete - full of detail about lichen, roots and shadow and currently beckoning to me as something that could be my next art project.

Inspiration is like that. We think it comes from nowhere but it usually comes from other people and you only have to look at the Fringe's growing Visual Arts section to see how Buxton people are busy feeding off each other's creative energy, whether it's Burbage Art Group - a friendly art class open to all - or the Great Dome Art Fair where professional artists and crafts people have benefited from joining together and are now passing on their ideas and expertise in talks and demos for the public.

It's good to work together and it makes for a fascinating exhibition when artists work to a single theme as in High Peak Artists' Sea Fever or The Green Man Gallery's Square Roots, inviting its artists to look at a square kilometre from a local Ordnance Survey map.

And then there are those very personal shows too, Michaela Wrigley's Landscapes for Dad or Sue Astles's tribute to her painter uncle Harry Ousey.

Just reading all those Visual Arts listings makes us long for July. You might just be inspired to try some art yourself at Dr Sketchy's burlesque workshop for example. Or simply relish all those free shows in beautiful Buxton buildings that are themselves an inspiration. Either way we know you are going to find Buxton' Fringe's Visual Artists a true source of inspiration!



Buxton Fringe

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