Taking the Culture Show Tour in Bideford
The guided art walk coincided with September's First Friday so Mill Street was buzzing more than you would normally find at 'Crackerjack time' (It's Friday, It's five o'clock - for those of you too young to get the reference!) We wove our way around buskers and barbecues to peer in at art in non-gallery spaces.
We are quite used to seeing art in cafes these days but more unusual venues such as the greengrocer's, barber shop and book shop may come as more of a surprise to the shoppers of Bideford.
In the back of Walter Henry's Bookshop on the High Street, Dave showed us his collection of Ghostcards; photographic works comprising merged images of local scenes 'then and now'. Down in Bideford library Bert pointed out some of his 'rural scape' paintings. One lovely scene of a grazing friesian cow was intended as a present for his mother who grew up on a cattle farm in the Netherlands. After lugging it in his backpack across the continent he was rather deflated when she remarked that she couldn't possibly accept it as she had spent quite enough of her lifetime looking at cows!
Speaking at the Culture Show 2011 opening event in Gertie's Cafe, Chair of Bideford Bay Creatives Sadie Green thanked both the proprietors of the venues involved and the artists themselves for the "leap of faith" they have shown by taking part. She said that the organisers try very hard to match up the art to the venue and cited the rather stunning ink painting of a black and white cat in a basket of apples we could see on Gerties' wall. This was a piece of work by Westward Ho! resident Janet Jopson and was one of my favourites on the tour. Janet has produced a body of work inspired by her allotment. The result is a series of vibrant original pictures bursting with lush vegetation and garden produce. I just loved Edward, the black and white cat staring out from a basket of green apples saying "just you try and get me out of here!"
Bideford's Culture Show 2011 runs until the end of October so if you are in town take the time to pop in to have a good look at the great variety of art on show - you don't have to buy anything, or get your hair cut - the art is there for looking at!
For profiles of all the artists visit the Bideford Bay Creatives' website.