Dorset Art Weeks 2016

PUBLISHED: 11:23 27 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:27 27 May 2016

Some of the artists involved in the Interrogation Project

Some of the artists involved in the Interrogation Project


Megan Dunford, from Dorset Visual Arts, meets some of the artists involved in one of the country’s most successful open studios event, which starts this month - Dorset Art Weeks

Ursula Leach in her studio, prints of the cover image are on the tableUrsula Leach in her studio, prints of the cover image are on the table

The Cover Star - Venue 236: Ursula Leach

Ursula Leach’s striking print ‘On the Horizon’ has been chosen as the winner of the 2016 Dorset Art Weeks cover competition. Meeting with Ursula in her light and airy outdoor studio in Cranborne, she told me about how the piece came into being.

“It started as a painting and morphed into a print, which happens to a large number of my paintings. I do a lot of walking and one day I looked across the fields, there were some old barns converted into new housing and it seemed to loom on the horizon.”

Ursula’s use of form gives the work great gravitas, whilst the bold colours sing from the surfaces that they so confidently lay upon. As much as her work doesn’t obviously depict a particular site, they resonate with feelings of Dorset, especially East Dorset. Ursula has been taking part in Dorset Art Weeks, on and off, from its conception back in 1992. You can see her work at Venue 236, Group 7 at The Slade Centre, Gillingham. For more details please visit

See more of Ursula’s work at

Clare, Buffy and Rod will be exhibiting at Venue 157Clare, Buffy and Rod will be exhibiting at Venue 157

A Memorable Experience - Venue 157: Clare Trenchard, Baffy Turner & Rod Page

Artist and sculptor Clare Trenchard loves the way that Dorset Art Weeks gives the public the chance to visit artists in their studio, this can also lead to some memorable experiences for the artist too. “Because we’re showing in a real working studio, it’s a unique opportunity for people to see work in progress - sketch-pads, maquettes, etc, as well as finished art. Plus Rod can discuss and demonstrate his wood-turning skills!”

Being in a location very much off the beaten track, Clare’s studio is in Whitchurch Canonicorum, she is always delighted that people make the effort to seek them out.

“We once had a surprise visit from Team Cycle – 20 or so Lycra-clad cyclists suddenly converged on the studio, bikes lined up in the garden outside. To my delight and surprise several sculptures were also acquired!”

See more of Clare’s work at

Eleanor at work in her studio at Haydon Chapel - this will be her first Dorset Art WeeksEleanor at work in her studio at Haydon Chapel - this will be her first Dorset Art Weeks

Something Old and Something New - Venue 215: Denman & Gould

Dorset Art Weeks newcomers Denman & Gould or rather Eleanor Goulding and Russell Denman moved from Brighton to Dorset a year and half a go. They will be welcoming visitors to the beautifully converted Haydon Church Studio in the small village of Haydon, near Sherborne. When I met with Eleanor we talked over the sumptuous watercolours she has been working on since moving to the area – currently these are focused on dwellings and vernacular architecture that one often comes across in rural Dorset.

“There has always been the idea of space in my work, and the hut as a place of retreat. I’d like to work more on this, using local scenes for Dorset Art Weeks,” says Eleanor.

Featuring a mixture of handcrafted homeware, watercolour paintings and 3D models this venue is not to be missed, especially as we have inside knowledge that The Guilded Teapot are providing refreshments and there will be homemade cakes too!

Find out more about their work at

Dorset Art Weeks - 28 May – 12 June

The 160 page Dorset Art Weeks 2016 brochure, featuring Ursula Leach’s stunning cover, is free from Tourist Information Centres, libraries, art centres and farm shops throughout Dorset and in surrounding counties. They can also be found in other public places and in participating artist’s venues. You can view all the venues online at where you can use a search facility to find venues close to where you are.

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