This weekend is Plymouth Art Weekender, an annual event lasting three days and celebrating visual arts in Plymouth.
This afternoon I started by meeting some friends in the Radiant Gallery’s exhibition called Dog Show. The first thing we saw when we entered the gallery were three enormous dog sculptures. Snoopy dog is a scaled-up model of a Fisher Price toy from the 1960’s by Liam Ainscough. I had never seen the toy before but it is a cute design and has a fun springy tail. The other two sculptures were made from paper mache and had wheels on the bottoms and leads attached around their necks so that visitors can take them for walks around the gallery.
We walked to the back of the room and found a display of bowls holding dog biscuits. This section was an interesting way of gathering information about visitors, as we had to answer the questions on the wall by putting a biscuit into one of the bowls. We had to work out how old we were in dog years, and I found out that 1 dog year is worth 7 human years.
There was a dressing up corner containing a coat rack of costumes and creepy dog masks. I dressed up in different outfits and posed to have my pictures taken. It was really funny coming up with bizarre combinations and my favourite was a shiny gold jacket, a pug mask and a top hat. I looked at the photos by Emma Saffy Wilson of people with their dogs or groups of friends playing with costumes, and it felt good to see the happy relationships in them.
We stayed at Rumpus Cosy afterwards and I had a strawberry and vanilla cordial fizz and a slice of blueberry cake. The cafe is pretty and the cake was tasty. If you would like to visit yourself, Dog Show will be at the Radiant Gallery until the 30th of September.
We moved on to the Barbican and stopped at 40RTY5IVE Southside, a shop which sells lots of different things by local designer-makers. We saw two of Piers Edsall’s Krakens and pottery by Christina Peters. I really liked some of the prints that I saw here by Jan Brewerton (twitter) which have a unique style. We went into Only Originals and it was filled with tons and tons of Sue Wills’s paintings, some still in progress. I spoke to her daughter Christie Wills (instagram) who is an illustrator studying at Plymouth University and who had some of her own work on display. Her artwork is inspired by animals and uses unusual techniques. She made one print using an extremely carefully cut out paper elephant, and she has dripped and layered watercolours to make colourful paintings.
Lastly we went to Barbican New Street Artists. Their studio is on the top floor of the building up lots of steep winding stairs. Here we talked to Glyn White who does extremely personal paintings, some with shocking stories behind them. The painting of a shore he was working on was inspired by an accident he had where he broke his foot and wasn’t able to go surfing for many months. Glyn is really friendly and I recommend a visit to his studio to hear his stories. I also looked at paintings of pubs by another artist in the studio, Dave Crocker, and he told us about his plein air painting at weddings.
I had a good day and I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend.