Local artist makes shortlist for major prize.

Local artist makes shortlist for major prize.

Bath artist Charlotte Sorapure, has been chosen from over 1,000 artists to be shortlisted for a prestigious national art prize worth £15,000 to the winner.
Charlotte is one of 83 artists from across the UK shortlisted for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2018, the UK’s leading competition for British contemporary representational painting and drawing. Having made the shortlist her work ‘The Letter’ will be exhibited at London’s Mall Galleries from 5–17 March.

Sorapure-Charlotte-The Letter

The Letter – painted by Bath-based Charlotte Sorapure.

1,144 artists entered this year’s competition – the highest number in the prize’s 13-year history.
Responding to the news of their shortlisting, Charlotte said: “In an artistic climate that tends to be preoccupied with novelty and gimmickry, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize is very special, with its commitment to nurturing and supporting the continued development of figurative painting and draughtsmanship. I am very happy to have been included in this years exhibition”
Charlotte has been painting for over twenty-five years. She describes the overriding concerns of her work as being rooted in drawing, composition and colour.
‘The paintings often hint at a poetic awareness, rather than any literal narrative – hopefully emanating an underlying mood or atmosphere. In order to do so, one has to be constantly alert to possibilities in any potential subject; from the corner of the studio or a humble still life, to the pattern and movements of a crowd.
There is a gentle irony, humour and poignancy in the paintings, that life is rarely what it seems. The recognition of these fleeting, incidental and silent moments have the ability to resonate more powerfully, than grander schemes and gestures. Seeing the significant in the insignificant – peering under stones, so to speak’

Trained at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Charlotte is a figurative Artist living and working in Bath. She has exhibited mainly with Messum’s in London and Brian Sinfield Gallery in Burford. Winner of the 2012 Holburne Portrait Prize, she has also exhibited at the Victoria Art Gallery in  Bath as well as more broadly in the UK and abroad. She has produced commissioned Portraits and Murals including a portrait of the war photographer Don McCullin CBE for The Holburne Museum in Bath, which was unveiled in 2015.

charlotte sorapure

Don McCullin and Charlotte Sorapure – wither side of her portrait.

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize for representational art – art that seeks to capture the real world – offers total prize money of £30,000, comprising a first prize of £15,000 and a gold medal, second prize of £4,000 alongside the newly introduced People’s Prize worth £2,000. Young artists aged 25-or-under compete for the Young Artist Award of £4,000.

For further details visit www.lynnpainterstainersprize.org.uk

Bath artists on show.

Bath artists on show.

This year’s Bath Society of Artists annual exhibition opens at the Victoria Art Gallery on Saturday 24 March.

Now in its 113th year, this popular exhibition showcases the best of the region’s artistic talent. Any artist aged 18 or over can submit work for possible selection. All of the artworks are for sale.

Last year, there were 800 entries, of which 399 were selected for an exciting exhibition that attracted more than 16,000 visitors.

Councillor Paul Myers,  B&NES Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “The Bath Society of Artists exhibition is a wonderful showcase for talented local artists. A wide variety of works will be on show, from paintings and drawings to sculpture, by established and up-and-coming artists. Residents can see the exhibition for free with a Discovery Card, and visitors will have a chance to vote for their favourite artwork in the Public Choice Prize.”

Ben Hughes 1

Image of Milsom Street by Ben Hughes. On show in the Bath Society of Artists 113th Annual Exhibition

Susanna Lisle, Chair of Bath Society of Artists, said: “The show is a fantastic mix of artworks in the widest variety of styles. It is a selling exhibition with prices to suit all buyers, showcasing work that is both an investment as well as a pleasure to look at.”

The society was founded in 1904 with 26 members. It has grown over the years to a membership of about 120 diverse, talented artists. Many distinguished 20th-century painters have exhibited with the Society including Walter Sickert, John Singer Sargent, Philip Wilson Steer, Gilbert Spencer, Patrick Heron, Mary Fedden, William Scott and Howard Hodgkin.

The prizes on offer total more than £3,000, and include the Bath Society of Artists Prize of £1,000, the Pegasus Art prize of £350 for materials, the Bath Society of Artists 3D Prize of £250, and the Harry Walker RWA Young Artist Prize of £250, awarded to artists aged 18 to 25. There are also smaller prizes for prints, watercolours, small paintings and drawings.

Geoff Shillito- Aisha

Aisha by Geoff Shillito – on show in the Bath Society of Artists 113th Annual Exhibition

During the exhibition, members of the public will be invited to vote for their favourite artwork, with the winner of the Bath Society of Artists Public Choice Prize receiving £500.

To enter, artists must submit their work at the Victoria Art Gallery on Saturday 17 March between 10.30am and 4pm. Exhibits may be paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints or mixed media. Digital prints and collaborative artworks can be submitted. No photography or Giclée reproductions will be accepted.

For more details and an application form, visit www.bsartists.co.uk. Application forms are also available from the Gallery.




Easter happenings at city museums

Easter happenings at city museums


There’s plenty going on for younger visitors this Easter at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Gallery.

roman baths

The Great Bath – part of the Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

Kids can get ready for spring by making a mini Roman garden, design colourful geometric patterns based on Eighties fashions, and create some arty Easter cards and collages to take home.

Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield) cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “There are some brilliant activities taking place in our museums over Easter, and all are free for residents with a Discovery Card. We hope local families will be inspired to visit, and discover – or rediscover – the wonderful museums on their doorstep.”

Glorious Gardens
The Roman Baths
Monday 26 March 2018, 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm

Celebrate spring by creating a mini Roman garden.

1980s Geometric
Fashion Museum
Tuesday 27 March 2018, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Admire the geometric designs used in 1980s outfits, and create your own using bright collage paper.

Easter Eggstravaganza
Victoria Art Gallery
Wednesday 28 March 2018, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30pm–3.30pm

Create eggy crafts and cards to take home. Ages 3 to 11.

Picture Me
Victoria Art Gallery
Wednesday 4 April 2018, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30pm–3.30pm

Use simple collage to create a historical portrait inspired by those in the Gallery. Ages 3 to 11.

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

Advance booking not required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.




Discovery cards are available from Bath One Stop Shop, 3-4 Manvers Street, Bath, Fashion Museum, Bennett Street,  BA1 2QH, The Roman Baths main entrance hall, Abbey Churchyard, Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street,

Keynsham One Stop Shop, Civic Centre, Market Walk, The Hollies Midsomer Norton.

New Abbey exhibition for Lent

New Abbey exhibition for Lent

A new exhibition has opened in Bath Abbey  featuring a series of 12 pictures by Bath-based artist, Marco Cazzulini. The exhibition – Communion, a visual response to the Psalms – will mark the lead up to Easter, when the Abbey recollects the final journey of Christ to his death in Jerusalem.

The pictures are based on the Psalms from the Old Testament and illustrate themes common to our humanity and the humanity of Christ on his journey through opposition and betrayal.

Lent Exhibition - Bath Abbey

Part of the Lent exhibition at Bath Abbey.

The exhibition will be on display until April 2 and will be supported by a series of four evening talks which will illuminate the pictures and make connections with the biblical account of Christ’s journey. Evening talks will take place every Wednesday from 28 February to 21 March, 7:15pm – 9pm.

The artist, Marco Cazzulini, said, “I was prompted by a desire to engage with the Psalms as they continue to reveal themselves within the heart of our humanity. It is an inward journey that rises upward and outward to God. It is a singular approach to a book that is at once deeply personal yet universally luminous. From the individual lament through to communal thanksgiving the scope of the Psalms is broad, rich and provocative.

“To exhibit within Bath Abbey, during Lent, is special. It sets the artworks into a larger context and I hope they will become pieces through which people can pause and reflect on image and original Psalm.”

Stephen Girling, Acting Rector of Bath Abbey said, “We are delighted to be hosting these pictures, the first time they have been on public display.  Marco has immense technical skill, a sincere Christian faith and a deep desire to understand our relationship with God.  We hope these pictures and the accompanying talks will enrich the lives of many as we approach Easter and consider our own humanity in the light of Christ.”

Portrait of a king is truly Tudor!

Portrait of a king is truly Tudor!


A painting of Henry VIII belonging to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria Art Gallery has been confirmed as an original Tudor work.

The portrait was recently sent away for essential conservation work and, at the same time, was dated by specialists using dendrochronology (looking at tree rings to date the wood the picture is painted on).


The picture, by an unknown artist, is estimated to have been painted between 1537 and 1557. It was given to the council in the 19th century and, although it has always been recognised as a very good portrait, curators at the gallery have always wondered if it actually does date from Tudor times.

Like many portraits of Henry VIII, it was copied from the Whitehall mural, which was painted in 1537 by Hans Holbein the Younger for Henry VIII’s apartment at Whitehall Palace. The original no longer exists as Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire in1698.

The dating of the painting was paid for by the Friends of the Victoria Art Gallery. The Chairman, Michael Rowe, said: “The Friends of the Gallery are committed to supporting original research into the gallery collections and were delighted to fund the dendrochronology. We look forward to further research into the origins of this important picture.”

Councillor Paul Myers, cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “This is one of the oldest and best pictures of Henry VIII in the world, and we are very fortunate to have it in the council’s public art collection. The painting will soon be back on display at the Victoria Art Gallery, where visitors will be able to see it for free in the Upper Gallery.”


Let us entertain you!

Let us entertain you!

There’s nothing new about ensuring visitors to Bath are duly entertained – especially if they’ve come to ‘take the waters’ and came during a historical period when visiting meant not a couple of days but anything from three weeks to three months.


Entertainment in Bath continues through to March 14. Admission includes a free audio guide. There is no charge to Bathonians producing their Discovery cards.

A new exhibition at the city’s Victoria Art Gallery is based around the story of entertainment in Bath – from the city’s Georgian heyday until the present day.

P1170144 2

This is Richard Beau Nash. While he was Master of Ceremonies – from 1704 until his death in 1761 – Bath became the most fashionable resort in 18th Century England.

During the 18th century Bath was second only to London for the quality and variety of the music, art and theatre that were on offer. Although these and other high-minded activities were a vital part of Georgian Bath’s social scene, this was not the whole picture.

There was also a seedy side to the city. Gambling and prostitution were rife – and very much part of Bath’s appeal to those who came here for hedonistic reasons.


During the 1960s and 1970s, the Roman Rendevous gave people an opportunity to bathe in hot spring water in the unique surroundings of the Great Roman Bath.

The exhibition looks at the events, activities and performances those former residents and visitors enjoyed. It also brings the story up to date, covering Bath International Music Festival, and infamous pop concerts and events that many local people will remember.


Fireworks over the Royal Crescent as part of Bath Festival celebrations in 1981.

It gathers together the stories about the people, places and attractions that made Georgian Bath such a vibrant centre – with more recent manifestations like the Bath Festival that is to some extent a legacy from that time.


Parade Gardens was formerly known as The Institution Gardens in the 19th century.

Entertainment in Bath celebrates the city’s cultural history with a huge variety of prints and watercolours from the Gallery’s own collection – alongside loans from the Royal Collection and the National Portrait Gallery.


How British Railways prompted the city of Bath and its famous visitors and residents.

It has been curated by Katharine Wall who met Bath Newseum to tell us more.

Entertainment in Bath runs through to March 14th.

It includes special performances by Bath Spa University drama students who will be bringing ‘Entertainment in Bath’ to life Saturdays 10, 17 and 24 February and again on March 3rd. All from 12 pm to 2pm.

Engraved in wood

Engraved in wood

A piece of work by a locally-based artist is taking pride of place in an amazing display of delicate craftsmanship currently on show in Bath.


The exhibition is being held at the BRSLI in Queen Square

BRSLI in Queen Square is hosting the 80th annual exhibition of The Society of Wood Engravers and one of its star pieces is a work by Jane Randfield which has been awarded the SWE prize for a first-time exhibitor.

Randfield, Jane Old Vine at the Three Choirs

Jane Randfield’s “Old Vine at the Three Choirs” won prize for first time exhibitor. Jane lives in Bath.

Wood engraving is at once the simplest and one of the most exquisite forms of printmaking. The print is made, first, by engraving the reversed design or picture to be printed into the mirror-smooth surface of a block of endgrain wood.

Boxwood is best, though cheaper alternatives such as lemonwood and synthetic materials are now frequently used.


Secondly, the block is rolled up with ink (on its top surface) and printed onto paper. The cuts that were made into the wood therefore come out as white, the remaining top surface which gets inked, as black; the artist is, in effect, drawing with light – with a white mark as opposed to the black mark that comes from a pencil, brush or pen.


Some of the tools of the trade.

Most wood engravings tend to be closely worked and relatively small because the tools used are finely pointed. Because the finesse of wood engraving produces a particularly rich tonal range, wood engravings are usually, but by no means exclusively, black and white.



Part of the exhibition at the BRSLI.


The Society of Wood Engravers was founded in 1920 by a group of artists that included Philip Hagreen, Robert Gibbings, Lucien Pissaro, Gwen Raverat and Eric Gill. They held an annual exhibition that attracted work from other notable artists such as David Jones, John and Paul Nash, Paul Gauguin and Clare Leighton.


Lindsley, Kathleen Puffins

Kathleen Lindsley, Puffins


The group thrived until war broke out, disrupted the demand for their work and cut the supply of materials. In the years that followed, there was a return to the annual exhibition but the group and the cultural context had changed.



A more contemporary work by Jim Westergard – Statue of Limitations.


After a decade in which there were no exhibitions, the SWE was revived in the early 1980s and has built up an international reputation for excellence. The regular activities of the Society are its annual touring exhibition, quarterly journal ‘Multiples’ and monthly Newsletter.


The exhibition, stringently selected from an open submission, visits several venues each year, showing the best of current work from Britain and other countries.

It’s a wonderful mixture of traditional and contemporary work.

Robertson, David Progress?

The exhibition also features contemporary work like this one from David Robertson, Progress?

It is currently at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square until January 22nd. Admission is free.