It was all about art for me over the weekend. I persuaded the Mister that a trip out to the country to look at flowers, paintings and sculptures was exactly what was called for. The promise of pulled pork rolls and local beers is I suspect what swung it. With the sun shining and the wind in our hair we left the sights and sounds of London behind us and chugged along the A40 towards Oxfordshire and Waterperry Gardens. We were greeted with a fresh country breeze, farmyard smells and the most organised car parking system ever. Using volunteer 12 year olds in army fatigues is surprisingly effective in controlling the chattering classes.
Art in Action is a unique event. Every year for 4 days in July, up to 400 artists, craftsmen, performers and musicians gather together in Waterperry Gardens to demonstrate their skills and show their work. There is the opportunity to watch and engage with experts in textiles, glassblowing, etching, painting, calligraphy, jewellery making, woodwork, printing and so many other arts and crafts. The artists regularly give demonstrations and cheerfully answer questions about their work and techniques.
If you want to learn the basics or try and master some of the techniques you can do that too. There is a huge range of practical courses to sign up for. We didn’t do that on this occasion but would love to be more organised and do this if I visit again next year.
We wandered through some of the tents housing the practical classes and gazed at stacks of paint splattered easels and pots of thick jewel like colours and mused on the how lovely it must be, to have the ability to capture an image with the stroke of a paintbrush.
There are plenty of opportunities to purchase the artists works if you so desire. As you might expect prices range from a few pounds up to a few thousand. I was taken by these ceramics by Tanya Gomez, although they were a little out of my price range on this occasion.
However we did buy a print copy of a letter from Charles Lamb to William Wordsworth from the New North Press, an artisan letterpress print studio in based in East London. It was an absolute bargain at £15 and we couldn’t resist as we had stood and watched it being printed. Soon to be displayed at Chez Vincent.
The house at Waterperry Gardens is surrounded by cottage garden flowers, hidden alcoves and paths that lead to sculptures and shady spots to rest awhile. Its a lovely setting and there can be little more enriching than being surrounded by positive creativity in such a pretty setting.
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