Artist Lyn Mowat's Brushes

I was unsure what topic to focus on for this post. There is plenty of activity at the SAW office especially now the registration deadline has passed and the team have a clear idea of the scale of this year’s Open Studios. There are many projects currently in the evolution process and will of course not come into fruition until later this year or next. I am particularly looking forward to see in what direction Carolyn Lefley steers the Water Meadow Wood project, the images on her website are hauntingly evocative. Also the work being developed by Sean Harris for the Cranes and Communities commission looks captivating with its promise of luminosity and technically adept in its production – you will be able to see for yourselves on Saturday 18th June when you are all invited to his installation of stop-frame animation, film, live music and sound in All Saints Church, Langport.

The results of these artistic explorations will feature in future posts but this one is heading in a different direction. One prompted by the random world of Facebook wanting me to ‘share my memories’ of a particular spring evening in 2014 of a full Pink Moon and the Friends of SAW Spring Soiree. It was a delightful evening hosted by Sir Ben Slade at Woodlands Castle and organised by SAW member and artist Lyn Mowat.

After five years of organising such inspiring events for the Friends of SAW Lyn has stepped down as its voluntary coordinator and is focusing her energies on her new home, new studio and new paintings. She thoroughly enjoyed her time supporting this aspect of SAW’s fundraising explaining that it was ‘great for meeting some lovely people, good fun – events MUST be fun and provided a valuable bridge between artists and the outside world.’

I asked Lyn which event had been her most memorable. Her reply was the private screening of Pandemonium with the film’s director, Julien Temple, presenting a relaxed and informal talk discussing his passion for Coleridge and filming on location in West Somerset. Bagborough House provided an apt venue for the night’s proceedings as it made its appearance in the film as the stunt double for Alfoxton Park; the home of the Wordsworths during the short time they lived in the Somerset.

Without Lyn there was no Spring Soiree this year but the next Friends invitation will be to the National Trust’s Lytes Carey Manor House this summer. Organised by SAW’s Carol Carey it will be part of the Herbarium Exhibition curated by FLOW Gallery and sounds like an occasion not to be missed. SAW would obviously like to plan future events with the Friends in mind but obviously need someone to step into Lyn and her team’s shoes, as she would readily advise anyone considering the role, to bring others on board as she couldn’t have been so ambitious with some of her plans without the energy and support from the Friends of SAW committee especially Rosie Inge.

Guests Enjoying the Spring Soiree in 2014

Guests Enjoying the Spring Soiree in 2014

Those of you reading this are already confirmed keen art fanatics, perhaps you are just the person to take on Lyn’s role? Perhaps you are already a member of the Friends group and would like to be more involved, keen to plan future occasions for the region’s creative community – if so the team at the SAW office would love to hear your ideas.

If you are more of a party goer than party organiser do join The Friends of SAW. You can find all the details and benefits on the website and I look forward to seeing you at Lytes Carey on a balmy summer evening celebrating the arts in Somerset.

Finally, a big thank you to Lyn and all that energy – enjoy picking up your paint brushes in your new studio. Xx

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WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY by Davina Jelley


Published on April 29, 2016 // Davina Jelley