Bridport & West Dorset News, Views, Videos & Curiosities

Bridport: Artist portraits by portrait artists

News that stays news

THE ARTIST John Skinner, when he lived in Bothenhampton, used to say to me: “Why can’t we have the kind of news which says: ‘Today John Skinner finished a xxxxing fantastic painting – and here it is’.

“That’s the kind of TV news I’d like to see.”

I used to agree with him, firstly because it was easier to, and secondly, because, actually, I did agree with him.

To have a sat truck parked outside an artist’s studio, and a live broadcast done with the paint still fresh – why not? Ignore the easy answers that come scorning  in (it would cost too much, not enough people would be interested, the painting might not be any good, bleugh, bleugh) and ask again – why not? Think how startling and pleasurable it could be.

“Literature is news that stays news,” wrote Ezra Pound.

Art is news that stays news, says I.

I doubt it will ever happen, of course, but just to raise the possibility is a useful thought-experiment.

Save £5

For now though, in the pre-utopian meantime, we have this: a new exhibition called Portrait of the Artist – with accompanying book – opening at Bridport Arts Centre on April 17. It’s a group exhibition of 25 painters and sculptors meant to shine a ray of light on the Bridport art scene that’s developed over the last 30 years or so.

Idea: Kit Glaisyer

Photographs: George Wright

Interviews & words: Lu Orza

Lu’s statement: “For me this has been a fascinating process. Some of the artists opened up on a very personal level about their lives, while others concentrated on their work. What is noticeable is, there is no Bridport School; artists aren’t trying to do the same type of thing. They are very much individualistic in their approach to their art. The exciting thing about Bridport is that the art that’s happening here is so incredibly diverse.”

Painter Kit Glaisyer’s statement: “Artists are attracted to Bridport because this is a place where they feel they can be themselves and where individuality is actively encouraged. This makes it the perfect place for idealists, non-conformists, dreamers and all those who are inspired to follow their own paths.

“Lu Orza has dug beneath the surface to find the deeper intentions of the artists.

“What she reveals can be quite edgy and challenging, which is refreshing. She has avoided the temptation of the easy cliché in her writing.

“And George Wright has beautifully captured the romance and the drama of creative people and artists, there’s a theatrical element to his work that illustrates the adventure of being an artist. He has produced a stunning series of photographs that clearly evoke the excitement we all feel about the artists working in and around Bridport.”

Exhibition: Saturday 17 April to 10 May, open Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10-4pm daily @ Bridport Arts Centre (01308 424204)

Book: Portrait of the Artist, with introduction by artist John Hubbard, launched 7pm on 17.4.10 at reduced price of £14.95. Then available for £19.95.

See you there!