For five years members of the Chandos Society of Artists, in conjunction with Bridgwater Arts Centre, have picked a day to descend upon the streets of Bridgwater to record their artistic impressions of the town. This year the event – known as the Bridgwater Challenge and open to any aspiring artist – has aimed wider as a second ‘Countryside’ day offered participants a contrasting experience.
As with 2012 year the invitation to ‘Paint the town any colour you like’ was a triumph of hope over expectation, since rain and wind threatened. In June, one may recall, the Glorious Summer was still an un dreamt-of pleasure.Still, it wasn’t a wash-out, just a bit grey at times.
Not so our trip to the countryside: it was always going to be touch and go, and there was a long shower which convinced the acrylic painters that they had made a wise choice, and produced some interesting effects for the watercolourists. Still Turner and Constable had the same trouble and look where they ended up. Painting ‘en plein air’ is a very noble, if often damp, British Artistic Tradition and we must remember that it is water that characterises the famous Somerset Levels
An exhibition called ‘Bridgwater and the Levels’, starting on Wednesday 4th September is the exciting and varied result of this widespread artistic endeavour. As is customary, an established local artist, in this case Michael Tarr, will be passing his professional eye over the works to choose ‘Best in Show’ and winner of Chandos Society Chairman John Allen’s annual prize. The Challenge is also supported by Lane Hammett stationers in Bridgwater. All are welcome to join artists, members, and Arts Centre supporters at the special preview at Bridgwater Arts Centre at 6pm on Wednesday 4th September.
Bridgwater and the Levels Exhibition, The Gallery, Bridgwater Arts Centre, 4th September – 4th October 01278 422700