Last summer London based artist Oliver Taylor came to stay at my house in Letchworth whilst I went on holiday. I was away for a week, when I returned the house was full of fresh flowers, my dining room had been transformed into a beautiful studio, and the walls were papered in paintings and drawings. Oliver had been inspired visiting our garden city, plundered my garden, met all the local florists, cycled all over the countryside and joined the Life Drawing class at the Arts Centre.
Oliver explained to me “I had been feeling very low, my brother Greg died 2 years before and I had been unable to paint for a long while. That week in July in Letchworth was a new start for me, I became inspired and fell in love with painting again. I started to feel excited about life and began creating and making things once more - I haven’t stopped.”
Oliver studied art and design at Colchester School of Art and print making in London at Central St Martins. He has continued to work as an artist, illustrator and print maker. His work has been commissioned by WaterAid, the Terence Higgins Trust, Housmans Bookshop, Elle magazine, Paperchase and Habitat.
The artist has estimated there are 26 varieties of flowers in the exhibition, come and see if you can identify them. The gallery will give a free coffee to
the person who can name the most flowers.
Curator of Dot to Dot Gallery
Simon Abbott, the artist who exhibited the exciting Up, Up and Away at our gallery earlier in the year returns to Dot to Dot this month and he has brought his own crew! Simon is a member of the arts collective Art School Disco which was set up by a group of 6 artists who met whilst studying at Southampton Solent University. They formed the collective after graduating in 2010 in order to keep each other motivated. Four years on the artists are scattered about the UK but Art School Disco are still going strong. They bring together a wide range of practises, graphic design, illustration, ceramics, printmaking and even millinery, all which complement each other perfectly. Katie Allen, one of the collective says “We all consider the other Discoers as essential critics and inspiration for our personal work”.
During their residency at Dot to Dot the artists have transformed the gallery with their theme of 'Underwater Cities'. They have been exploring ideas of what lies under the waves with drawings and prints and even a life sized mermaid. Simon Abbott says “How much do we really know about what lurks beneath the depths? Expect sunken castles, mermaids, boats and plenty of fish!” There will also be a chance to mark your own mark with our Live Wall, the artists are going to start developing an underwater city on the wall created with rubber stamps and are inviting you to contribute.
A highlight of the month will be an event for families on 22nd March based around the theme which promises messages in bottles, jellyfish mobiles, portholes, sharks and submarines. There will also be a Cocktail and Creativity workshop for adults with Sea Breezes and crafty printing ideas.
Art School Disco are Katie Allen, Ben Phe, Ed J Brown, Simon Abbott, Johnny Ace, Keiron LeVine
Exhibition runs Thurday 6 - 31 March
Saturday 22 March Under Sea Event Day
Saturday 22 March 8pm – late Private View
Tuesday 25 March 7 - 9 Creativity and Cocktails adults' workshop
I am so excited about this new show in Dot to Dot.
Venice is our resident artist for September, her works are beautiful watercolour and gouache paintings influenced by her love of graphic design and illustration, and to top it all off she is a lovely, hardworking, helpful and talented woman. Come and have a look, get involved with one of her workshops, or add to our Live Wall. My top tip to look out for is the adorable 'Buttons' piece...
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Alphabet Workshop Tue 10 Sep 3.45-4.30pm
Late Opening Wed 11 Sep 6-9pm
Alphabet Workshop Thu 19 Sep 11-11.45
Creativity & Cocktails Mon 23 Sep 7-9pm
We were so lucky to have Jo Empson with us on Saturday 8th June for a whole feast of Rabbityness. We are delighted to let you know that we are having a Jo Empson Sunday party on Sunday 30th June.
At this event, Jo will be signing books and we will be making musical instruments (which we didn't have time to do on 8th June). There will be cakes, and coffee and lots of other activities on offer too. 11-1 Sunday 30th June. Save the date!!
We are also holding a special Jo Empson inspired evening on Tuesday 25th June. Cocktails, creativity and colour. More details on this very soon or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
Book now by using our contact us page.
There is a lot coming up in Dot to Dot in the coming week. So get your diaries
at the ready.
Sunday 12th May 10-1pm
We are OPEN! Thanks to our first Sunday
visitors last week. We are now open regularly on Sundays.
Tuesday 14th May 3.45-5pm
This is the time in the week that we run a slightly more structured session for keen artists. This week there will be more Ella Carty inspired activities.
Wednesday 15th May
Creatives' Breakfast from 8.30am
Click here to find out a little more.
Ella Carty Exhibition Late Opening and Rhapsode Review 8pm
Every month we showcase our resident artist's work, drink wine, and tell you, the public, what Rhapsode has achieved in the past month. This is an open event. Please come along and find out about what we are all about.
Complementary drinks. Donations welcomed to go towards the residency programme.
Dates for the diary
Tuesday 21st May - bookable afterschool collage workshop with Ella Carty. 3.45-5pm. Limited places - book now!
Saturday 8th June - more info here.
Bikes and Bubbles The Return
Saturday 6th July
The Big Gig
Saturday 13th July
Please come and see us soon in Dot to Dot. The coffee machine is on.