Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Big Draw

So what is The Big Draw? It's the world's biggest drawing festival from The Campaign for Drawing and on Wednesday it came to the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery courtesy of the artists from Artsite. 

Whilst in the art gallery I took the opportunity to talk to the conservators working on more than 30 paintings by Kate Tryon, an American devotee of Richard Jefferies. I was interested to learn that many of the frames were originally gilded but sometime in their history they had been painted over. A similar story to some of the portraits in Lydiard House whose frames received a coat of white paint, which has since turned grey from the smoke from open fires.

I very much enjoyed the ceramic exhibition From Where I'm Standing inspired by the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery collection. I found the work by Keith Varney reminiscent of Edmund de Waal's only to be told that SM&AG holds work by this prestigious ceramicist too. Is there no limit to the treasures contained in Apsley House?

So why no photos of The Big Draw? I'm leaving that to Artsite's Vicki Silver. But here is one of my little granddaughter Tilly getting to grips with hieroglyphics.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Witchy Crafty

Our Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale takes place at Christ Church Community Centre on November 12. For more details visit Swindon Suffragette.
Here is a brief profile of one of the sellers who is taking part.
Witchy Crafty, our eighth seller says: This is the first time that I have ever tried to sell items that I have made. I have been producing art and crochet items for many years now so many in fact that I need to sell some. If my items prove to be popular then I will look into selling more. I’ve lived in Swindon and the Swindon area for over 30 years now. I have three children and am a reasonably active feminist.
She will be selling arts and crafts crochet, tea cup candles, jewellery and original art works so do look out for her stall on the 12th November.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Ruth Wintle

Our seventh seller is ‘Crafted by Ruth’ and she will be selling crafts, jewellery, decoupage items and paintings. Ruth says:
I started painting on retiring from work a little over 3 years ago although sewing and beading is something I have always enjoyed. The decoupage items have increased over time and is very relaxing.
Ruth recently took part in the Swindon Open Studios and exhibited her work at Willows Counselling Service on Prospect Place alongside Marilyn Trew and Lisa Lane where they saw more than 60 art-lovers come through their doors on the first Saturday.
You can see some examples of Ruth’s artwork here…

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale see Swindon Suffragette.

Ceri's Cupcakes

If you have a sweet tooth you’ll want to check out Ceri’s Cupcakes, our sixth seller. We asked Ceri about her motivation and experience:
I have two passions in life; cars and cakes (apart from my gorgeous family of course!). I have come to the realisation that I will unfortunately never be a racing car driver so I have decided to concentrate on baking and decorating cupcakes instead (much to the annoyance of my waistline!).
I gave up my career as a Showroom Manager at a local sports car dealership after giving birth to my beautiful daughter Leah in May 2015. I really wanted to be with her as much as possible and returning to work full time was really not as appealing as spending all day with my little girl, watching as she develops into a bright, inquisitive child who seems to learn and develop new skills every day. I thought long and hard about what I could do to try and bring in some extra pennies and then one day I went to my local WI meeting where we had a cupcake decorating demonstration. I had always enjoyed baking but had never really thought about decorating, this was my light bulb moment. I’ve been practicing for family and friends ever since and loved it so much that I decided to take a chance and set up a little business. Ceri’s Cupcakes was born! My aim is to make people smile when they buy or receive my cupcakes (hopefully lots will be bought as gifts!) but most importantly to run a successful business to make my daughter proud of her mum.
Find Ceri on facebook to book your beautiful cakes:

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale visit Swindon Suffragette.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Artkore Mosaics

Artkore Mosaics is the fifth seller at the Women’s Exhibition and Craft Sale on 12th November and Lynette told us the following:
I have been making mosaics for around 15 years, mainly working on larger pieces but I also like making smaller quirky items to sell at craft fairs. I enjoy making themed teapots which I can also personalise for people. I belong to an arts charity organisation Artsite where I rent my studio (in the Shoebox theatre building).
The Swindon Suffragette team are thrilled to have our very own Artkore Mosaics teapot which we will be displaying on the day.
To find out more, including how to commission work, search facebook or check the website:

For more information about the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale visit Swindon Suffragette

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Nicola Cornick

Another update on the Women's Exhibition and Craft Sale November 12, Christ Church Community Centre.

The fourth person joining us is international bestselling author Nicola Cornick.
Nicola is a writer and historian and since the publication of her first Regency romance in 1998 she has been shortlisted four times for the US Romance Writers of America RITA Award and twice for the UK Romantic Novelists Association Romance Prize. Nicola also acts as a guide and historian for the National Trust at Ashdown House and is a speaker on the history of Ashdown and the Craven family. She is Awards Organiser for the Romantic Novelists' Association and a mentor for their New Writers' Scheme, which critiques manuscripts for aspiring authors, and she has run several courses and workshops on creative writing. She also acts as a history consultant for TV and radio and loves the excitement of historical research as well as the friendships that the romance writing community has brought her.
Nicola will be selling and signing copies of her books (which are also available to buy in all good bookshops and borrow from Swindon Libraries). We can highly recommend House of Shadows, a fantastic time-slip mystery!
Find out more about Nicola and links to her books at her website:

Friday, October 21, 2016

WSPU Drum and Fife Band

This weekend we will be revealing our poster for the Women’s Exhibition and Craft Sale and in the Votes for Women newspaper published on April 2, 1909 the WSPU were doing the same.

‘A preliminary poster is being prepared, and will be ready as soon as this week’s Votes for Women is in the hands of the readers. The poster, which is 40 ins by 30 ins, is being printed in the colours, and will, it is hoped, be found very useful. Will all who are working for the Exhibition, or who are interested in it in any way, write for a supply of these posters in order that they may be exhibited wherever possible to make the Exhibition known. As this is a preliminary poster, it is important to get it out quickly.’

‘In connection with the WSPU, a drum and fife band has been recently organised. The services of an instructor have been secured and about twenty members are in training. There is still room for more recruits, who should be able to give Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday evenings to practice. When fully trained the band will be asked to perform from time to time, and will, it is hoped, be a regular feature on official occasions. Miss Dallas has been appointed Secretary, and all inquiries and communications should be addressed to her at 4, Clements Inn.’

Votes for Women April 2, 1909

The Drum and Fife band, led by Edith New's rock throwing compatriot Mary Leigh, marched through the West End, advertising the Women's Exhibition.