It’s been quite a week for staff at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. They have had five days to take down the 111th annual exhibition by Bath Society of Artists and then help create a series of ‘rooms’ – combining art, furniture and fabrics – all produced by members of the Bloomsbury Group.
It’s been curated by David Herbert – an Australian designer and long-time enthusiast of this influential group of English writers,intellectuals, philosophers and artists who all believed in the importance of the arts and rejected the traditional distinction between fine and decorative art.
They shared a belief that artists should be able to earn a living not just from paintings but from interior decoration and they created the Omega Workshop to produce furniture, textiles and pottery.
This Bath-based exhibition of some of their wares is called A Room of Their Own: Lost Bloomsbury Interiors 1914-30 and runs at the Victoria Art Gallery until September 4th. £4.00 / concs. / under 21s and Discovery Card holders free
It was officially opened – in front of a packed gallery on Friday night – by textile and interior designer Cressida Bell – who is the granddaughter of Vanessa Bell.
Vanessa – with her husband Clive – and later Duncan Grant – was a leading member of the Bloomsbury Group.
Cressida had much to say about Charleston House – near Lewes in Sussex – which was the country home of the Bloomsbury Group and a unique example of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s decorative style within a domestic context. The website is http://www.charleston.org.uk/
Here’s Cressida’s opening speech.
Running alongside the main summer exhibition – and in the small gallery space by the ticket desk – is Carlos Zapata’s ‘Carnival.’
He is an artist who was born in Colombia in 1963 and currently lives near Falmouth, Cornwall. Self-taught, his painted wood carvings belong to and take inspiration from folk and tribal arts from all over the world.
His work reflects both his experience of living in a foreign country and life in Colombia where a civil war rages on relatively unnoticed by the outside world.
His work is in private collections and museums around the world.
The exhibition runs until September 4th.