The Raw Talent show has just finished in the gallery at New Brewery Arts. I attended the opening and was a steward for a couple of hours one day, so I got a really good opportunity to look round what was on display. I found it really inspiring.
The courses and workshops we run at New Brewery Arts are at the very heart of what we do - which is all about encouraging people to become makers of things and to take part in craft - whether it be stone carving, life drawing or textiles. I’m constantly amazed at the range of subjects offered by Clare and her team of tutors. What’s great is that these courses and workshops get people to come in and embark on their craft journey by making something - either as beginners, improvers or long-term students of the craft. It’s this element of participation that makes the building hum, and it is people coming in to learn, achieve and ultimately to display what they have done that is an encapsulation of some of what NBA is about.
It’s all very well going to an exhibition and admiring what is on show - or maybe thinking ‘my five year old could do better than that’.
And it’s fine to be an observer and learner about craft, appreciating the skill and imagination that goes into creating works of art and craft.
But it’s quite another to be inspired to think ‘well, i might try that’ and to then experience the joy and satisfaction of creating something yourself - whether on paper, in stone, on glass or in cloth - that’s unique, individual and (most importantly) yours. And then to be able to stand back and say ‘I made that’.
I find the work that is done by students on our courses and workshops quite inspiring - the result of days or even weeks of work, progression through levels of skill, to the finished result - and so it was a very real pleasure to see a selection of works on display - and some for sale - on the gallery walls for the Raw Talent exhibition.
This year’s crop seemed outstanding - some amazing painting and drawing, extraordinary carving and ceramics - and it really is a credit to both student and their tutors. The buzz at the opening evening preview was just so rewarding.
And - congratulations to the winners of the popular vote: that truly is a mark of appreciation from people who came to view the exhibition. Well done all - and roll on next year!
With grateful thanks to Pegasus Art Stroud for the two prizes they awarded.
Lucy Walshe - Public vote (1st Place)
Lucy Walshe - Pegasus Art Prize
Phoebe H - Public vote (children’s)
Millie E - Pegasus Art Prize (children’s)
Nicholas Arbuthnott - Public vote (2nd Place)
Tom E - special commendation