Polluted paradise.

Polluted paradise.

Popped into the BRLSI-  amongst other things, for me the city’s unofficial ‘Museum of Bath’ – yesterday to catch Collection’s Manager Matt Williams and Graphic designer Jude Harris busy setting up the summer exhibition which opens today (Saturday, April 21st).


Collections Manager, Matt Williams with some of the vivid photographs within the exhibition which illustrate environmental damage to the Pacific Ocean.

The Institution is inviting the public to come in and explore four different themes concerning the Pacific Ocean – a sea so vast that ALL the Earth’s landmasses would fit into its basin.


‘Bleached’ coral reefs where environmental issues are upsetting the ecosystems that operate beneath the waves.

There is no charge so come and explore the material culture of the indigenous island peoples of the Pacific – including war clubs, drums, jewellery and beaded clothing.


Beads and gourds – Pacific culture on display.

The exhibition also examines the diversity of marine life which is shown by some of the beautiful shells donated by 19th-century naturalist collectors.

You can learn about the history and significance of the Wallace Line, an invisible boundary (named after 19th-century British naturalist Alfred Wallace) which separates the distinctive ecozones of Asia and Australasia – with tigers, barbets and woodpeckers on one side, for example, and marsupials, honeyeaters and cockatoos on the other.


Still in the process of setting up – but here’s a photo illustrating how some islands will be submerged by rising sea levels.

For me, the themes that really hit home are the damage – we the human race are doing -with the ocean under threat as pollution and climate-change impacts on Pacific ecosystems and communities.


Rising sea levels threaten to swamp whole islands and plastic – floating on the ocean surface – is being mistaken for food and fed to bird chicks!

The exhibition is illustrated by prints from four renowned international photo-journalists – Chris Jordan, Ciril Jazbec, Jonas Gratzer and Remi Chauvin – highlighting the impact of environmental change on the wildlife and peoples of the Pacific.


Pacific – Ocean of Islands‘ runs until September 22nd. It is free to enter and the ground floor gallery is open from 10 am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. You will find the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square.

Museum’s got it covered.

Museum’s got it covered.

The oldest quilt in existence – a patchwork coverlet made in 1718 – will be displayed at Bath’s American Museum in Britain to mark its 300th anniversary.


1718 Patchwork coverlet. American Museum in Britain (1)

The coverlet dating from 1718.


The coverlet will be joining the Museum’s own world-renowned textile collection this year. This collection has over 250 quilts and is acclaimed as the finest of its type in Europe and the equal of many premier collections in the United States.

Chief Curator, Kate Hebert, said ‘We’re delighted to display the 1718 Coverlet at the American Museum. It’s a huge honour to be the only location in the South of England where you’ll be able to see the 1718 Coverlet this year.

This is a unique opportunity to see this treasure of The Quilters’ Guild collection alongside our renowned quilt collection.’

The coverlet will be on display during normal opening hours from 10th April until 29th July.

A gallery stroll around the world.

A gallery stroll around the world.

Bath’s Holburne Museum is currently offering visitors the opportunity of travelling around the world without leaving its top-floor gallery.


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The Holburne Museum


It’s where you can experience a colourful taste of the work of artist Anthony Fry with this his first museum retrospective.

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Artist, Anthony Fry 1927-2016.

Fry – who died in 2016 – lived and worked near Bath for sixty years but made pictures that expressed his principal inspiration of travel.

Although he enjoyed great commercial success in Britain and America during his lifetime, his work has not previously been recognised by a major exhibition. Comprising works lent from prestigious private collections, the show reveals the considerable extent of his talent.

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Anthony Fry, Mango and Rice Paddies, Thirunelli, 1991, oil on canvas, 106 x 132 cm, Private Collection ©Permission kindly granted by the estate of Anthony Fry / Browse & Darby Ltd

Bath Newseum talked to the Holburne’s Director, Dr Chris Stephens about this special event.


Visit the exhibition between now and Sunday 15 April and you can take advantage of a TWO tickets for just £10 offer. 

To take advantage of the offer call 01225 388569 or purchase at the Holburne Museum. The offer is not available online.

The Exhibition is supported by The Linbury Trust, The Monument Trust, Browse & Darby

Meanwhile, David Simon contacted  Bath Newseum to say:

‘By happy coincidence, The Holburne exhibition of work by the late, well-known Modern British painter, Anthony Fry this month coincides with a solo exhibition of new paintings by veteran painter, Diana Matthews FRSA at my gallery. She was taught by Fry at the Bath Academy of Art in the 1950’s.”

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David Simon Contemporary
4 Bartlett Street

gallery@davidsimoncontemporary.com   /  01225 460189

Time for local art to shine.

Time for local art to shine.

It’s that time of the year again – when local artistic talent competes for space on the gallery walls – at the Victoria Art Gallery – for the annual exhibition of the Bath Society of Artists.

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It’s an organisation that’s grown from the 26 people who came together to found it in 1904 to approximately 120 today.

The membership includes professional and part-time artists who live in Bath and the surrounding area.


Artists and guests pictured at last night’s preview.

Many distinguished artists have exhibited with the Society – among them John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Walter Sickert and Howard Hodgkin.


The Bath Society of Artists £1,000 Prize this year went to Benedict Doonan for ‘Beach Structure No.5’

The Society’s Chairman is Susanna Lisle.


The exhibition opens to the public today – Saturday, March 24th and continues until May 12th. It’s open daily between 10.30 and 5.00pm.


David Simon of the David Simon Contemporary Gallery in Bartlett Street, who sponsored this year’s Sculpture Prize. The winner – who’ll get an exhibition at David’s gallery – was Martin Elphick with ‘Wind and Sea’ – bronze and stone.

Entry to the exhibition is £4.50 / concs. / 16 and under and Discovery Card holders free. More on this and other events via https://www.victoriagal.org.uk


The exhibition’s​ free but the art’s for sale!

The exhibition’s​ free but the art’s for sale!

Bath’s Royal Literary and Scientific Institution has an excellent – and well-earned reputation – for hosting exhibitions and lectures on subjects from around the world but currently – just for a change – it’s proud to display the talents of its own members.


The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Ian Gilchrist, was amongst those looking around what is a free-to-enter event which has just opened in the Institution’s ground floor gallery in Queen Square.


The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Ian Gilchrist with the exhibition organiser Deepali Gaskell – on the right of the picture.

The event – open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 4pm – is on until April 13th.


Bath Newseum spoke with the organiser – Deepali Gaskell.

Kaffe brings on the colour

Kaffe brings on the colour

Internationally-renowned colour expert and fabric designer Kaffe Fassett will make a welcome return to Bath in May with a new exhibition at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Victoria Art Gallery. When Fassett and Candace Bahouth last showed here in 2008 the Gallery welcomed a record-breaking 31,000 visitors.

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Kaffe Fassett – pictured at the American Museum where he held an exhibition a few years ago.

Inspired by flowers all his life, Fassett will demonstrate his full creative flair in this stunning new exhibition, A Celebration of Flowers. With a bespoke dazzling colour scheme to match, the installation will transform the Gallery using 40 of his vibrant coloured quilts and needlepoints.

(low res)

Kaffe Fassett, Seed packet quilt

The show will also feature colourful mosaiced island gardens, benches, totems, mirror frames, shoes, flower-encrusted candlesticks and a chandelier by one of Fassett’s long-term collaborators, fellow American Candace Bahouth, who is based in Somerset. Many of these works are on a large scale and extend the floral theme into three dimensions.

Kaffe Fassett, Bouquet Needlepoint (low res)

Kaffe Fassett, Bouquet Needlepoint


Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “These two stunning exhibitions will appeal to a wide range of audiences, both residents and visitors, when they show at the gallery over the summer and I hope attract as many, if not more, visitors as the last time.”


Kaffe Fassett said: “Since colour is my obsession in art, I am fascinated by flowers as a subject. This show celebrates my recent book on the floral world called Bold Blooms.”


Candace Bahouth added: “My encrusted mosaics are inspired by nature, ceramics and textiles. Come and be immersed. Escape, dream, reflect…in a world of fantasy, pattern, colour and delight!”


Kaffe Fassett

Kaffe Fassett is one of the world’s most renowned textile designers. His work has been exhibited at museums worldwide and is in many permanent collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He continues to travel worldwide to lecture, teach, and promote his work.

Born in 1937, Fassett spent much of his youth in the creative community of Big Sur, California. He moved to England as a student in the 1960s and spent some time living in Bath, where he was inspired by quilts in the American Museum.

Starting out as a fine artist, he ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill where, inspired by the colours in the landscape, he was thrilled to find yarns in the same colours. On the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit.

Candace Bahouth

A graduate in fine art from Syracuse University, Bahouth settled in rural Somerset, where she developed her unique facility for expression in mosaics using found material from nature as well as fragments of china and even high-tech plastics. Many of her creations are designed on a large scale to fit within garden settings. Her work also features in many permanent exhibitions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum.

During the exhibition, the Victoria Art Gallery shop will be selling a beautiful range of gifts and homeware featuring Kaffe Fassett’s unique and fabulous designs.


There will be a series of talks and tours to accompany the show, including:

Lunchtime exhibition tours

Every Thursday, 24 May to 23 August inclusive, 12.30pm-1pm

Free to ticket holders and Discovery Card holders.

Lunchtime talk by Candace Bahouth

Wednesday 27 June, 1.10pm-1.45pm

A free lunchtime talk by Candace Bahouth at The Guildhall, Bath.

Kaffe Fassett: Colour and Inspiration

Wednesday 25 July, The Assembly Rooms

A talk by Kaffe Fassett at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

Tickets available at £12.00/£11.00 concessions from Bath Box Office (www.bathboxoffice.org.uk) from 2 April 2018.




Bath-based sculptor’s new show

Bath-based sculptor’s new show

Anna Gillespie – New Works – Exhibition 7 April – 5 May 2018

Anna Gillespie Split 2018

Anna Gillespie Split 2018

In this solo exhibition, Bath-based sculptor Anna Gillespie launches new works in plaster.

Anna is exploring a more alienated and urban human experience than in her previous work, the Gathering Project, which used found tree materials.

Anna Gillespie Split (detail) 2018

Anna Gillespie Split (detail) 2018

The new figurative work deals with themes which include loss, the feminine and the masculine, and the process of depicting human reality through the sculptural form.

Version 2

Version 2

Anna Gillespie was born in Surrey in 1964. She studied Philosophy, Politics, Economics at Wadham College, Oxford and then International Relations at the London School of Economics.

In 1988 Anna returned to sculpture, taking a City and Guilds in Stone Masonry and Carving in Bath before going to the Centro d’Arte, Verrocchio, Italy to work as studio assistant to sculptor, Nigel Konstam. Anna then completed an MA in Fine and Media Arts in Cheltenham.

Anna now lives and works in Bath and is represented by the Beaux Arts galleries in Bath www.beauxartsbath.co.uk and Londonwww.beauxartslondon.uk

Anna has work in the collections of The Prudential, Burghley House Sculpture Park, The Somerset Museum, Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia, Bodrum Sculpture Park Turkey and also in private collections throughout America, the Middle East and Europe.

Beaux Arts Bath Gallery.  12-13 York St, Bath BA1 1NG.   01225 464850


Anna Gillespie.  info@annagillespie.co.uk   www.annagillespie.co.uk