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Creative Arts

Visual Arts

Octagon Gallery & Exhibitions

The Gallery at The Octagon Theatre showcases local talent from the surrounding areas, promoting local art groups & independent artists whose main motive is to share the pleasure of art.

 Octagon Gallery

Current Exhibition

23rd June 2022 - 30th July 2022

You Are Here

by Wayne Spilsbury

Tolbury Hill from Cole Road - a green landscape with grey blue dramatic sky

Wayne has a long career as both a professional artist and in education, running secondary school art and art history departments, art college tutoring and examining. Although predominantly a Fine Artist, Wayne is multidisciplinary, adopting approaches which best communicate the gestalt in his experiences and so Sculpture, Photography and Video are occasionally explored.

His background in Art History is reflected in his work and he often works in series, creating autobiographical records of encounters and places. Covid-19 inspired a series of responses, with Wayne recording his wife, who works in theatrical costume, and himself engaging with the trials of the pandemic, culminating in an installation piece. More recently he has returned to his core Somerset landscape work. This latest exhibition is an extension of a previous show ‘A sense of Place’ and is titled ‘You are here’, where you are transported to Wayne’s reinterpretations of special places.

Purple Rain: Mix Media on card. Glastonbury Festival, the Pyramid Stage, drenched with purple rain, mud and litter.

Upcoming Exhibition

1st September 2022 - 10th October2022

Banners of Chard

by Somerset Art Works

 5 Banners of Chard, depicting the highstreet, river and surrounding farmland

Somerset Art Works showcases five highly detailed Banners, the culmination of 40 workshops with a wide range of Chard residents. A truly collaborative process from start to finish, every single element featured on the Banners has been created by the workshop participants with lead artist Jenny Mellings. 

 Groups involved included: The Watch Group, Holyrood Academy, Chard Museum, Manor Court Primary School, Families, Local Businesses, Volunteer Embroiderers and the Cultivate Project.  A celebratory unveiling took place as part of the Culturally Chard Spring Festival at Chard Guildhall in April 2022, with the Banners now taking a tour around the county to celebrate Chard – people and place.

 Also on show is a selection of artwork created by South Somerset schools working with Somerset Art Works as part of an Arts and Wellbeing project with Somerset County Council’s Public Health Team and project partners Somerset Film. Artists Julia McKenzie and Richard Tomlinson led 16 days of school workshops in South Somerset schools, inspired by the natural environment and: really listening / really looking / really feeling. The project aimed to explore young people’s experience of the pandemic using creative and art-based practices.

All artwork is on display as part of the Somerset Art Weeks Festival which returns for 2022 with the theme of ‘Sanctuary’.

Banners of Chard workshop - images laid out on the table with a group of adults and children in a museum workshop huddled around a table

Gallery Information

If you wish to purchase artwork from any of our exhibitions please contact the Box Office on 01935 422884.

Please contact Katherine Hoskins, Katherine.hoskins@southsomerset.gov.uk for information on the exhibition space and and for artist enquires.

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