Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Bath’s newly revamped refuse and recycling collections have maybe made us stop and think about rubbish.

Certainly David Attenborough’s BBC production Blue Planet 2 has made some of us aware of the amount of plastic rubbish that makes its way into our oceans to pollute them and destroy the creatures that live on and under it.


Top marks to artist Alison Harper for make a point about our throwaway society in a highly visual way.


Part of Alison Harper’s display at the BRSLI in Queen Square.

She’s  holding an exhibition at the BRSLI in Queen Square which is free to visit daily from 10 am to 4pm through to Monday, November 27th.


Two paper cups are deconstructed and remade into​ 71 butterflies!

Alison is an artist currently completing her PhD with practice at Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University, where her thesis includes a study of waste, of the disposable, new materialism and the micropolitical.


Paper lace. Each piece of​ lace has been made from one cup – deconstructed and rematerialised!

In a statement she says of her ‘Lost and Found’ exhibition:

“My work continues to interrogate and question the relationships with the material world we so often take for granted. In order to make I first have to ‘unmake’, revealing the qualities and the quantity of materials implicit in single use objects.


Cut paper cups – cut and wound around the base of the cups.

This is a reparative and transformational process, concerned with the ‘disposable’ detritus of everyday life in post-industrial ‘wealthy’ nations.


Knitted vessels from paper carrier bags and unpicked builders’ bags.

As artists we hold the world in our hands, a position of privilege which is easily abused, coerced by the allure of a commercialism which is difficult to avoid.


By using the material from these single use objects, which otherwise have no obvious destination; their end of life not having been considered by their producers, I am examining and emphasising the seemingly forgotten connections with our material world, and how this has a bearing on our responsibility towards others, the wider biosphere, and ourselves.”


Major new exhibitions at the Holburne in 2018.

Major new exhibitions at the Holburne in 2018.

The Holburne Museum in Bath has today announced its 2018 exhibitions programme, including the first museum retrospective of the painter Anthony Fry, the first exhibition to bring together Dutch seventeenth-century paintings from National Trust collections around the country, and an exhibition focussed on Thomas Gainsborough’s theatrical portraits. As well as curating these three major new exhibitions, the Museum will organise contemporary commissions and public events throughout the year, with further details to be announced.

Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum at the Sydney Gardens end of Great Pulteney Street.

Dr Chris Stephens, Director of the Holburne Museum, said: ‘We look forward with great excitement to 2018. We are delighted to be working in close partnership with the National Trust on the first exhibition to bring together their Dutch masterpieces, and to be presenting shows of two significant artists with local connections and of international recognition. Bringing together great art of the past and the present, from around the world and from nearby is what the Holburne is all about.’



Anthony Fry, Mango and Rice Paddies, Thirunelli, 1991, ©Private Collection / Permission kindly granted by the estate of Anthony Fry

Anthony Fry: A Retrospective 
(9 February – 7 May 2018) is the first major exhibition of the painter Anthony Fry (1927 – 2016). Though Fry enjoyed considerable commercial success in Britain and the United States this is his first museum retrospective. Comprising works lent from prestigious private collections, this exhibition will reveal the extent of his talent. Fry’s principal inspiration was his travels across Tuscany, Andalucía, India, Morocco and the Sahara Desert. He had an early introduction to art through his great aunt Marjorie Fry, sister of the art critic Roger Fry, and through her had contact with the Bloomsbury Group, and was cousin to the painter Howard Hodgkin. He sought a synthesis of the figurative tradition in which he had been trained and abstraction, most notably that of Mark Rothko.


Rembrandt van Rijn, Self-Portrait Wearing a White Feathered Bonnet © National Trust Images – Chris Titmus

Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses 
(25 May – 16 September 2018) will bring together Dutch seventeenth-century paintings from National Trust collections around the country for the first time, including works by masters of the ‘Golden Age’ such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Lely, Gabriel Metsu, Aelbert Cuyp and Cornelis de Heem. The National Trust cares for one of the largest and most significant collections of art in the UK, commissioned and collected by country house owners for over 300 years. The exhibition will explore what made Dutch art so sought after among country house owners and how Dutch art collecting in British country houses developed over the centuries, as tastes and interests changed.


Thomas Gainsborough, Mrs Siddons © The National Gallery, London

Gainsborough and the Theatre 
(5 October 2018 – 20 January 2019) celebrates Thomas Gainsborough’s close involvement with the theatre world of London and Bath. It will showcase some of his finest portraits of his friends in the theatre, creating a conversation between the leading actors, managers, musicians, playwrights, designers, dancers and critics of the 1760s to 1780s. It shows how his work with the likes of David Garrick in Bath launched his career there and later in London, and how actors enabled him to explore naturalism in portraiture, just as they and their contemporaries turned to less artificial forms of performance in theatre, music and dance. Themes of celebrity and friendship will also be explored through some of the most touching likenesses by “the most faithful disciple of Nature that ever painted.”



Anthony Fry: A Retrospective
The Holburne Museum, Bath
9 February – 7 May 2018
£10 | £9 concession | £5 Art Fund | Free to all Museum Members and under 16s

Prized Possessions: Dutch Paintings from National Trust Houses
25 May – 16 September 2018
£10 | £9 concession | £7.50 National Trust Members | £5 Art Fund | Free to all Museum Members and under 16s

Gainsborough and the Theatre
5 October 2018 – 20 January 2019
£10 | £9 concession | £5 Art Fund | Free to all Museum Members and under 16s

Dress of the Year selector announced.

Dress of the Year selector announced.

Sarah Bailey, Hearst Lifestyle Group Editorial Director, will select the Fashion Museum Bath’s Dress of the Year 2017.


Sarah Bailey.jpg

Sarah Bailey of Red Magazine.


Each year, the Fashion Museum invites a top name from the fashion industry to select an outfit that encapsulates the prevailing mood of fashion, represents the past year and captures the imagination. The outfit then goes on display at the museum and becomes part of its world-class collection.

fashion museum

Look 41 – By Gareth Pugh – 2014 Dress of the Year.

Sarah said: “I am thrilled to be asked to be part of Dress of the Year at the Fashion Museum. 2017 has been an extraordinary year – how to decide?”

Rosemary Harden, Fashion Museum Manager, said: “We were delighted when Sarah said ‘yes’ to choosing Dress of the Year 2017 for the Fashion Museum. Under Sarah’s editorship, Red has become a leading UK magazine and brand – exciting, stylish, and connecting beautifully with women today. Everyone here at the Fashion Museum in Bath is so excited to see what Sarah’s selection will be.”

Former Editor-in-Chief of ELLE magazine, Sarah worked at Harper’s Bazaar for nearly a decade on both sides of The Atlantic. She was appointed to the Editor-in-Chief role at Red magazine in 2013.

fashion museum

The Dress of the Year 2017 will be announced and go on display at the Fashion Museum on 1 December 2017. It will become the final exhibit in the museum’s headline exhibition, A History of Fashion in 100 Objects.


Christmas fun at city’s culture centres.

Christmas fun at city’s culture centres.

Families can enjoy a host of fun, seasonal activities at the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery in Bath this Christmas.

roman baths

The Roman Baths.

Make a paper plate calendar inspired by ‘Minerva’s owl’ at the Roman Baths, create Christmas jumper decorations at the Fashion Museum, and make some seasonal art to decorate your home at the Victoria Art Gallery.

All activities are included in the normal admission price. Admission is free for Bath and North East Somerset residents with a Discovery Card (www.bathnes.gov.uk/discoverycard).

Just turn up – advance booking not required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Hoot, Hoot for the New Year
The Roman Baths
Sunday 17 December 2017, 11am-3pm

Make a paper plate owl calendar inspired by ‘Minerva’s owl’ – an owl figure that is carved into the Roman temple pediment.

Christmas Jumpers
Fashion Museum Bath
Sunday 17 December 2017, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Create some Christmas jumper decorations for a special festive touch.

It’s the Most Arty Time of the Year
Victoria Art Gallery
Saturday 16 December 2017, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Make seasonal art to take away and decorate your home.

Grandparents and Grandkids
Victoria Art Gallery
Friday 8 December 2017, 11am-noon

A special session for grandparents and grandchildren. Have an arty Christmas and produce something unique for the festive season.




Looking back on year’s celebrations.

Looking back on year’s celebrations.

Prepare to be delighted by the joyous array of artworks and imagery on display in this final exhibition of the year at No. 1 Royal Crescent in Bath, between 25 November and 17 December.

New Views Exhibition flyer
Throughout 2017, hundreds of visitors including families, community groups and schoolchildren have joined in the celebration of the Royal Crescent’s 250th anniversary.
New Views is a vibrant and exciting showcase of all their imaginative responses, ranging from painting and textiles to drama and photography.


Some of the local youngsters who have taken part in this year’s anniversary celebrations.

Pieces of silver were created (materials kindly provided by Bath Boules), wall hangings stitched, views from the windows put into words and children created their own play about the Crescent, called Jubilation. It features Elizabeth Linley’s elopement from No. 11 and a dramatic duel, enjoyed by the Mayor of Bath and parents who watched the performance.

New Views Artists:
Sally Collister (Snap and Stroll – My Views)
Barbara Disney (FreshArt@)
Beverley Ferguson (Artist in Residence, No.1 Royal Crescent, 2017)
Kate Pawsey (Creative Writing)
Sophie Piddock (GLAG)
Paula Tew (Recollection & Afternoon Tea)

Project Partners:
St Andrew’s C of E Primary School
The Holburne Museum
Gardener’s Lodge Art Group
Pathways to Wellbeing project
IMAGE Peer-led Museums Group
Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
Snap and Stroll
Creativity Works
Age UK (B&NES)

New Views Exhibition
No. 1 Royal Crescent
Admission: Free with normal admission to the museum
or (exhibition only):
Adult £5
Child/Concessions £3.50
Family (2+4) £11
Open Tue – Sun 10.30am – 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm)
Mon 12noon – 5.30pm
Late nights Sat&Suns in December (last admission 6.30pm)

It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

I suppose –  be it a traditional portrait or landscape painting framed on the gallery wall – all realistic visual art is an illusion. Be it faces or places, it’s our brains who merge paint daubs and strokes into order as a recognisable image.

Perception is all about how we see things – how we make sense of it all.

Bath’s Holburne Museum heads towards the darker months of late autumn and winter with a striking and – in part – vibrantly colourful exhibition which is all about the tricks an artist can play on the viewer.


The new exhibition at the Holburne Museum

Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception comes to us from Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park. It’s sharp, vibrant, informative and playful. Forget the gloom outside and  immerse yourself  in  galleries where the eyes play tricks.

To quote from the Holburne’s on-line webpage:

“This exhibition will explore one of the most exciting threads of art history of the past 150 years. Many artists from the Impressionists onwards were inspired by scientific colour theories, such as the pointillist work of Georges Seurat, where colours other than those actually painted on the canvas are generated in the eye of the viewer.


During the 20th century this interest in perception extended to creating a sense of movement and a variety of artists from the Vorticists to Josef Albers looked at using form, and often colour, to convey the sensation of movement.

This interest intensified in the 1950s and 1960s in what came to be known as ‘Op Art’ and ‘Kinetic Art’, exemplified by the work of artists such as Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Jeffrey Steele and Peter Sedgley.

IMG_5124 2

Tom Boggis – Curator of Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception.

This art has had a bold legacy right up to the present, not only in the further development of some of these artists but also in the work of others including Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jim Lambie and Sara Moorhouse.”


No photography allowed in here!

It’s all there to view – and interact with – in an exhibition curated by Tom Boggis.

Bath Newseum went down for a chat with him but, because of copyright issues, that had to take place outside the exhibition’s closed doors.

The Holburne Museum’s website can be found at www.holburne.org 

The exhibition runs from Friday, October 20th through to Sunday, January 21st next year.

Admission is £10/£9 concs/ Free to all Museum Members. Under 16s go FREE (Under 12s must be accompanied by an adult).

Bath – almost half a century ago.

Bath – almost half a century ago.

Found in a Bath charity shop. A folio of 12 prints from drawings by Martin Fisher – with a foreword by Sir Hugh Casson and dated October, 1969.

Sir Hugh – knighted for his work as Director of Architecture for the 1951 Festival of Britain – was architectural consultant to the old Bath Council. This was at the time the city architect’s department came up with the concrete framed Sport Centre on the Rec.

I cannot find out much about Martin – other than that he was an architect and cricket fan. However,  thanks to Ann Miles – who came though to the Facebook account – l have her permission to reproduce her comments on Martin.

“Martin was in the Navy but  came out and became an architect   Married Joan and had a family of ten children. They were both Roman Catholic.  He did work for Bath City Council e.g. Batheaston Roman Catholic Church plus others. I understand he did work at Buckingham Palace and  Windsor Castle.

He painted as a hobby. He did sell some paintings. Bath Cricket Club have portraits of past chairmans he did.  l gave the RUH some paintings he did 7 years ago. Martin was captured in japan when in the Navy. Got a medal for it but never talked about it. He was a  very modest man but a joy to be in his company. I think he led a interesting life. He did deserve to be recognised for what he did though his life.

I hope this gives you a little bit of a insight of a very talented modest man. He did a quick sketch of the tin church in Bailbrook Lane where l lived. He and his wife came to lunch. It took all of ten minutes – wow.”

Thanks for that Ann. Well, as a tribute to Martin – and to show you a little of how Bath looked  back in 1969 – l am publishing his folio of prints.


The front cover of ‘At Bath’ – published in 1969 – with some very young trees in Queen Square.


A detail from the Roman Baths.


Abbey Church Yard


Pulteney Weir and Bridge – before reconstruction.


Bath Abbey Choir and Chancel.


Bath Street with the Bladud fountain still in place.


Broad Street


Northumberland Passage


Lilliput Alley


Milsom Street


The Circus


Prior Park and the Palladian Bridge.

All the above drawings by Martin Fisher. Love to hear more about him?