Outstanding exhibition ‘The Heart that Fed’ in last two weeks at Dorset County Museum

The Hearth that FedWith only two weeks to go before it ends, don’t miss a final opportunity to visit the current exhibition at Dorset County Museum: The Heart that Fed.

The exhibition features the work of two Dorset artists – Nell Race and Angelika Seik who first met in 1998. Some years later they met again – Nell moved to Corfe Castle in 2005 and found her house was just a five minute walk from Angelika’s.

Painter Nell Race explains, “During one Dorset Art Week we both opened our studios and arranged a Prize Draw between us to pull in the crowds – it worked really well and we have been wanting to exhibit together ever since.”  They now meet regularly to talk about current work and projects, but painting and sculpting still consumes the major part of their days.

The exhibition showcases the work of these two artists who have sculpted and painted all their lives, without a break. Sculptor Angelika Seik said, “We are two women and two mothers who have brought up families but have never abandoned a shared profound and essential need for artistic expression.” 

The title of the exhibition, The Heart that Fed, is a quote from Shelley – it captures the transformation that takes place from an initial feeling for a subject through the artistic process into a piece of art. Nell’s abstract paintings shown alongside the striking figurative sculptures made by Angelika create a truly powerful show.

The Heart that Fed runs at Dorset County Museum until 1st February 2014. Entry to the exhibition is free and many of the pieces are for sale. The Museum is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday.

For further information contact the Museum on 01305 262735 or check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org

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Outstanding exhibition continues at Dorset County Museum

The Hearth that FedWith the Christmas break coming up, and perhaps a few days off, this could be the perfect opportunity to visit an outstanding local exhibition.

Dorset County Museum is currently hosting The Heart That Fed which features the work of two Dorset artists – Nell Race and Angelika Seik.  If you love paintings and sculpture this could be the ideal time to pop in and have a browse – and it’s free.

Both artists have been working in or around Dorset for over 30 years and recently decided to show their work collaboratively.  Nell uses the wall space for her paintings and Angelika the floor space, showing her sculptures on plinths. The juxtaposition between the different media, the abstract paintings alongside the figurative expression of the sculptures, creates a powerful show.

The Heart that Fed runs at Dorset County Museum until 1st February 2014. Entry to the exhibition is FREE and many of the pieces are for sale.

The Museum is open from 10.00am to 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday but CLOSED on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. For more information check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

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Dorset County Museum opens new art exhibition

The Hearth that FedA new exhibition opens at Dorset County Museum on 2nd November 2013. The Heart That Fed features the work of two Dorset artists – Nell Race and Angelika Seik.  Both have spent long careers exploring their art and have been exhibiting separately for over 30 years.  This is their first joint exhibition.

Nell Race’s pictures are non-figurative – they are not pictures of castles and beaches, but they do hold oblique and subtle references to the Dorset environment in which she lives and works. The paintings express the feelings and emotions which the Purbeck hills, rocks and cliffs evoke and all are integrated into her work.

Dorset has also influenced Angelika in many ways.  She gets her stone direct from Dorset quarries, and moved to the area to be near them. Angelika loves the sea and many of her works relate to it, for example Time & Tide. She is fascinated by the interconnections between the sea, the land, the people who live there and their shared history.

“We’re looking forward to the exhibition opening,” said Museum Director Jon Murden. “Both artists have a strong local following and we expect a lot of interest. It’s also a good time for people coming to the Museum to have a browse in the gift shop and enjoy our popular tea room.“

The Heart that Fed opens at Dorset County Museum on Saturday 2nd November and runs until 1st February 2014. Entry to the exhibition is free and many of the pieces are for sale. For more information check the website on www.dorsetcountymuseum.org.

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New Exhibition ‘The Heart that Fed’ by Nell Race and Angelika Seik

Artspeak by Nell Race

Artspeak by Nell Race © 2013

Two of Dorset’s most compelling artists, Nell Race and Angelika Seik, present a milestone exhibition of paintings and sculpture at Dorset County Museum. The Heart that Fed showcases two extensive working careers spent in quiet determination which have lent each of their oeuvres an instinctive, personal signature.

Nell has been painting all her life and is a prolific and well respected painter in the Arts community. She constantly surprises with successively changing images. Her non-figurative paintings are frequently concerned with textures, juxtapositions and liminal spaces and hold subtle references to the Dorset environment in which she lives.  Works such as ‘Songscape’ and ‘Threshold’ reflect her interest in evocation through mark-making, while ‘Walk with 3H’ demonstrates a fascination with craft and design.

Time and Tide by Angelika Seik

Time and Tide by Angelika Seik © 2013

Angelika carves stone sculptures with provocative titles like ‘How many meals have you cooked in your life time?’ Her strong human themes have developed over the years into an on-going series of female forms, which combine socio-political ideas with traditional working methods. She describes these as ‘timeless universal women, who hold the fabric of our societies together’. This show will highlight a more reflective mood, showcasing her newest collection entitled ‘The Art of taking it easy’. Like Nell, Dorset has influenced Angelika in many ways. Not only does she get her stone from here, she moved to the area to be near it; she loves the sea and boats and sailing and many of her works are related to this theme.

Museum director Jon Murden said, “We are delighted to be able to host this exciting new exhibition and believe the contrast between the paintings and the sculptures will create an impressive and fascinating show.”

As artist friends, Nell and Angelika’s work and personalities complement each other. They say: “This exhibition arose out of mutual support and respect for each other’s ideas”. The title is a quote from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet ‘Ozymandias’, a text loved by both artists.

The exhibition opens at Dorset County Museum on Saturday 2nd November 2013 and runs until 1st February 2014. Many of the pieces are for sale and entry to the exhibition is FREE

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Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Author of ‘Frankenstein’

Mary Shelley's Blue Plaque

Mary Shelley’s Blue Plaque outside St Peter’s Church, Bournemouth

Few seaside towns can claim so many literary associations as Bournemouth. The remains of writer, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of one of the most famous of all Gothic horror novels – Frankenstein, is buried in the cemetery of St. Peters in the centre of the town.

Mary Shelley was born on the 30th August 1797, in Somers Town, London. She was the second daughter of feminist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft and political journalist William Godwin (who are also interred in her grave). Her mother died shortly after Mary’s birth from a hemorrhage  sustained either during delivery or by the actions of the midwife. Unusual for girls at the time, Mary received an excellent education. She published her first poem at the age of ten.

Percy Bysshe Shelley and his first wife Harriet often visited Godwin’s home and bookshop in London. At the age of 16 Mary eloped to France and then Switzerland with Shelley. During May of 1816, the couple travelled to Lake Geneva. Apparently inspired by a ghost tale contest among her friends, Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont Mary had what she called a waking dream that became the manuscript for her most famous work, entitled ‘Frankenstein’ or ‘The Modern Prometheus’.

It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who tries to create a living being for the good of humanity but instead produces a monster.  Frankenstein creates his monster by assembling parts of dead bodies and activating the creature with electricity.  The monster, which has no name in the book, is actually a gentle, intelligent creature.  However, everyone fears and mistreats him because of his hideous appearance.  Frankenstein rejects the monster and refuses to create a mate for him.  The monster’s terrible loneliness drives him to seek revenge by murdering Frankenstein’s wife, brother, and best friend.  Frankenstein dies while trying to track down and kill the monster, who disappears into the Arctic at the end of the novel.

Frankenstein Poster

Film Posters for Universal Studios 1931 version of ‘Frankenstein’

Many films have been based on the character of Frankenstein’s monster, the most iconic being played by Boris Karloff in the Universal Studios 1931 version of the novel.  Most are simply tales of horror and have little to do with the serious themes of Shelley’s novel.  These themes include the possible dangers involved in scientific experimentation with life and the suffering caused by judging people by their appearance.

Mary and Shelley married in 1816 after Shelley’s first wife committed suicide by drowning. In 1818 the Shelleys left England for Italy. The Italian adventure was, however, blighted for Mary by the death of both her children Clara, in Venice and their son Will died from malaria in Rome.  Mary suffered a nervous breakdown after the death and almost died of a later miscarriage. It was followed by the birth of her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In July 1822, Percy Bysshe Shelley sailed up the Italian coast and was caught in a storm on his return. He drowned on the 8th July along with his friend Edward Williams and a young boat attendant.

The Grave of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly

The Grave of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, St. Peter’s Cemetery, Bournemouth.

To support herself and her child, Mary wrote novels, including Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and the autobiographical Lodore (1835).  She spent much of her life in promoting her late husband’s work, including editing and annotating unpublished material. She returned to England, never to re-marry.

She died on 1st February 1851 in Chester Square, London of what some suspect to be a brain tumor, before her to move to live with her son Percy Florence Shelley at Boscombe Manor. Her last book, sometimes considered her best work, was ‘Maria’, which was published posthumously.  Her son brought his mothers remains to be interred in St. Peter’s Churchyard in Bournemouth, along with Percy’s heart, which was not originally buried with his body. It was retrieved from his funeral pyre by his friend Trelawny and kept by Shelley’s wife Mary, pressed flat, in a copy of the poet’s “Adonais” and was interred for the first time in Mary’s tomb.

Mark North