Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm – Sundays (Apr – Dec) 10am-4pm


The Feathered Aviator

Sat 5 July - Sun 7 September

work by Celia Smith

Part of Cirencester Commemorates
funded by Heritage Lottery Fund 
supported by Cirencester DFAS and Corinium DFAS

Celia Smith in The Feathered Aviator exhibition at New Brewery Arts CirencesterDuring the Great War, man-made communication systems were crude and unreliable; it was the pigeon on which they depended.  In this reflective exhibition, we commemorate the First World War through the medium of wire sculpture using the role of the homing bird  – unearthing their stories and keeping them alive after 100 years.

The journey of a homing pigeon is one of strength, durability and endurance; a compact flying machine perfectly adapted to the job of finding its way home.  Celia Smith's deceptively delicate wire sculptures perfectly encapsulate the bird's dual qualities of fragility and strength, from proud individuals, perfectly balanced and assured, to flocks of birds in joyous flight.

The exhibition includes flocks of wire birds made by school children and families from the Duke of Gloucester Army Barracks, who have been encouraged by our outreach team to think about the impact of conflict and their response to it.  Each bird carries a special message written by a participant. Watch a video of the exhibition here.

Captain L V Ashley of 29 Regiment works with Celia Smith at New Brewery Arts Cirencester

The Feathered Aviator is part of the wider Cirencester Commemorates and you can see the full programme of events taking place throughout Cirencester by clicking here.

The Feathered Aviator and Cirencester Commemorates are supported by Heritage Lottery Fund and have been created to bring the events of the First World War, and the effects the war had on Cirencester, to life - Lest We Forget.

Exhibition opening

Meet the artist at the opening of the exhibition on Saturday 5 July from 2pm to 4pm. 

At 2pm soldiers from 29 Regiment, stationed at the Duke of Gloucester Barracks, South Cerney, along with members of the Royal British Legion, will form a guard of honour at the opening of The Feathered Aviator exhibition. We are pleased to announce that Captain L V Ashley, Unit Welfare Officer (pictured left), who has been working closely with New Brewery Arts throughout 2014, will officially open the exhibition.

             Celia Smith working in her studio               Children from Stratton School        Hannah and Woolfie at Duke of Glos Barracks

Exhibition link

Wire sculpture
Celia Smith
Sat 19 July

Learn with the exhibiting artist on this one day workshop. Create impressive 3D bird sculptures while learning techniques in joining and manipulating wire, strengthening the structure, and looking at balance and stance. 


“For the pigeons winged through the rolling barrage of high explosive shells, they braved bursting shrapnel and gas and made their way through the rat-tat-tat of machine and anti-aircraft guns just as did the men who flew in things of steel and wood and gasoline. The feathered aviator played his part in almost as big and certainly in as brave a way as the man, and in hundreds of instances he died in the same splendid manner.”

The Americal Legion Weekly
August 29, 1919 

Exhibiting and selling work at New Brewery Arts

We welcome proposals from professional artists, groups, educators and curators who want to show new work in our gallery. Our aim is to present a programme of contemporary craft and visual art exhibitions that inspire, excite and challenge people of all ages. We are particularly interested in proposals that engage with our existing education programme.

You can also exhibit in our Pop Up Gallery and in the Craft Gallery Shop.

If you would like to submit work, please see our Show your own work page for information.

And finally...

We value your feedback on our exhibitions - and on what you would like to see in future - so please contact  if you would like to leave a comment.


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