Events: Encounters: Wessex Contemporary Artists meet Dorset County Museum

WESCA, a group of contemporary artists, respond in diverse ways to encounters with Dorset County Museum

Great British Summer by Louise Roll © 2012

Great British Summer by Louise Roll © 2012

At last, an exhibition of contemporary art that can be accessed and enjoyed by all!

It focuses on shared ancestry, poignant memory and loved landscape. No need to be intimidated, there are links throughout the exhibition with objects and ideas held by the Museum and the visitor is encouraged to explore their own memories that have a constant bearing on how we live today.

The artists will be there personally on three mornings to talk about their work – come along between 10.30am and 12 noon on 21st February, 4th and 11th April to meet them, hear about their work and find out what inspired them.  Some of the artists are also running workshops to encourage tactile engagement with processes and concepts that are at the heart of Contemporary art.  Obfuscation is not part of this exhibition.  Pleasure, recognition and personal involvement is…

Chris Miller © 2012

Chris Miller © 2012

The archaeological holdings of the museum have been the focus of the largest number of artists.  The Dorset landscape, particularly the coast and Maiden Castle is another popular subject.  Poetry, library books, farming, mourning jewellery and fresco painting are also part of the show.  Another strong category explored by some artists is enquiring into the whole concept of the Museum itself.  The experience of encountering fragments of the past, unfolding in the viewer buried and evocative memories, is made contemporary.

Encounters: Wessex Contemporary Artists meet Dorset County Museum runs from 16th February to 7th June 2013.  Entry to the exhibition is free.  Details of events associated with the exhibition are available on the Museum website and from the Museum Shop.

Events: Undiscovered Caucasus: Art, Archaeology and Architecture in Georgia by Roger Peers

Views from the Caucasus Mountains - Roger Peers©2012

Views from the Caucasus Mountains

Imagine an undiscovered pocket of medieval Europe.  Not some over-sanitised over-run enclave tucked away in the Alps, but situated in far-off mountains somewhere to the east of Turkey!

A place where one can come across a stupendous Romanesque cathedral in the middle of nowhere; no running the gauntlet of car parks and tour coaches, gift shops and cafes, nothing more than sheep grazing in fields that run up to the walls.  A magnificently rich heritage of churches, monasteries and frescoes, of spectacular ruined castles perched on mountain crags and walled towns all set against the majestic backdrop of the Caucasus Mountains.

Caucasus Mountains - Roger Peers©2012

Caucasus Mountains

Georgia is all this and more.  Still largely undiscovered, few realise the astonishing wealth and diversity beyond the capital Tbilisi.  A marvellous cluster of many cultures, ancient history, extraordinary medieval dwelling towers, mountain top churches, unique cuisine and breathtaking high mountain villages only approachable by 4x4s.

Most of all, Georgia is its people, an ancient people with a sense of tradition, of honour, of value.  A people whose appreciation of beauty, poetry and song is legendary and whose warmth and spirit reach out to the visitor.  Together with its rich architecture and magnificent landscapes, Georgia is utterly beguiling.

Roger Peers’ illustrated lecture on the undiscovered Caucasus will take place at Dorset County Museum on Wednesday 20 March at 7.30pm.  The talk is free although a donation of £3 is encouraged, and all are welcome. Advance booking is not required.

Museum Temporary Closure

Dorset County MuseumDorset County Museum to close from Monday 4 February to Friday 8 February 2013 for essential maintenance.

Dorset County Museum will be closed for five days from Monday 5th to Friday 8th February in order for essential maintenance work to be carried out.  As the majority of the work involves the main gallery of the Museum, the Victorian Hall and also the Dorchester Gallery, the decision has been made to close the Museum to all but essential staff during this time.

The Museum will be open as usual on both Saturday 2nd and Saturday 9th February from 10am to 4pm.

Director of Dorset County Museum, Jon Murden said, “We never like having to close the Museum but this essential work will enable us to make major improvements to the building which will benefit everyone in the long term.”

Events: Lunchtime Concert at Dorset County Museum

Dorchester Piano Trio

Russell Dawson, Peter Oakes and Sally Flann
outside Dorset County Museum

On Thursday 14th February 2013, Dorchester Piano Trio will be performing a lunchtime concert at Dorset County Museum.

The programme will include Handel-Halvorsen’s Passacaglia for Violin and Cello, Three Miniatures for Piano Trio by Frank Bridge and Brahms’ Piano Trio in C Minor, Opus 101.

Dorchester Piano Trio are Sally Flann, Russell Dawson and Peter Oakes who frequently entertain lunchtime audiences at the Museum.  They will be performing a further concert on 18th April.

In addition, on 28th February and 21th March, sixth form students from Thomas Hardye School will be putting on a special performance at the Museum as part of their A Level studies.

All the concerts are free to attend and a donation of £3 is encouraged to cover costs.

Concerts start at 1pm and are held in the Museum’s Victorian Hall – everyone is welcome and there is no need to book.

For more information please Tel: 01305 262735