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North Devon offering the best of the UK’s art scene

North Devon offering the best of the UK's art scene

North Devon offering the best of the UK's art scene

The landscape of North Devon has inspired hundreds of artists and writers from Ted Hughes to Damian Hirst to Henry Williamson. It is the beauty of the area that rampantly flows everywhere that often brings people to call North Devon their home.

This year the countryside is once again going to inspire art lovers and artists as it will be the site of some of the most hailed exhibitions of 202 including events that will feature Quentin Blake among others.

North Devon will also be part of the Cultural Olympiad as in October it will play host to a major mobile landscape when the public art project Nowhereisland is moored at Ilfracombe.

For the perfect art and crafts break in North Devon, you can find a comprehensive choice of luxurious holiday accommodation at

A Discipline of the Mind: The Drawings of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (March 16th April The Burton Art Gallery & Museum Bideford)

Fans of the St Ives School of Art will love this exhibition of the work of Wilhelmina Barns- Graham who is also considered to be one of the great twentieth century British artists and who was a contemporary of Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Patrick Heron. The drawings in this exhibition range from energy drawings inspired by the sea and currents to natural forms, rocks, trees, ice and landscapes.

A Discipline of the Mind exhibition “demonstrates Barns-Graham as one of the finest landscape draughtsman of her generation. Her drawings have an analytic dynamism and diverse stylistic verve that is utterly original and distinctive”….art critic and writer Mel Gooding.

For further information please contact Hannah Prothero Tel 01647 252017 or email

A perfect place to stay for art lovers wishing to explore what North Devon has to offer would be the beautifully and sympathetically restored Redland House at Instow. This Edwardian house was featured in the TV show “Fantasy Houses by the Sea” and it enjoys the most breath taking coastal views combined with luxurious interiors. Ideal for large groups as it sleeps 22. Short breaks are available,

Quentin Blake Exhibition 26 May- 27 August RHS Rosemoor at Great Torrington

Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved, most successful illustrators and children’s authors. A former children’s laureate his distinctive illustrations have appeared in around 250 books including the drawings which featured in Roald Dahl’s celebrated children’s books. This summer, the famous RHS Rosemoor garden is giving visitors the chance to delight in the art of the man who brought to life characters such as Matilda, the BFG and Mister Magnolia.

The exhibition features five groups of pictures, including the Green Ship and You’re Only Young Twice and the team at Rosemoor will be recreating Quentin Blake’s famous Green Ship in the garden for children to clamber on and to recreate their own special version of the story.

For further press information please contact Heather Eales RHS Rosemoor 01805 626815 or please visit

For visits to Rosemoor then Millbrook Cottages offers a wide range of award winning luxurious accommodation on a 32-acre estate at High Bickington at Umberleigh and would be the ideal location for those who like to enjoy the fine things in life. Artistic and romantic couples will love Millbrook’s Rose Cottage, which is brand new for 2012. A boutique cottage, shabby chic interiors with a copper bath for two and a hot tub. Gourmets can order a private chef service, hampers or breakfast boxes or champagne on arrival. This picturesque thatched cottage sleeps up to 4 people and it is situated in High Bickington Village, close to the Millbrook Estate.

Broomhill National Sculpture Prize 2012

The Broomhill Art Hotel, Sculpture Garden and Gallery near Barnstaple offers an annual £15,000 prize to offer a platform for young and emerging artists to showcase their creative work within medium and outdoor sculpture. The competition is open to UK based sculptures in their last year or within ten years of graduation from a recognised school of art willing to submit their contemporary work before a distinguished panel of judges.

For more information please contact; Rinus Van de Sande, Broomhill Art Hotel, Barnstaple 01271 850262.

If you wish to stay at this unique art hotel and explore the wonderful sculpture garden then

Bed and Breakfast costs £75 for a double room, or £50 single room, Sun-Thurs. Free admission to the sculpture garden. Special offers and mini breaks available. Find out more at or

Appledore Visual Arts Festival 7-10 June

The beautiful fishing village of Appledore on the banks of the Rivers Taw and Torridge near Bideford has played host to an annual arts festival since 1997 and Landmarks is the theme of the 2012 festival. The programme of events include talks events, workshops often staged in yurts on the quayside at Appledore which enjoys glorious views over the estuary and out towards the Atlantic Ocean. Please contact

To make the most of those stunning views over the estuary then stay at the Gaiety, which offers six, 5-star luxury self catering apartments in what was a former Fisherman’s Mission and the old Gaiety Cinema. Stunning waterside location and private moorings for guests who want to head out on the estuary to spot birds or even Dolphins.

Art Trek 7-22 July Venues across North Devon

Some of the UK’s leading artists will be opening their studio doors to allow visitors a unique glimpse into their creative world. Artists, crafters and designers working across a range of disciplines from painting, sculpture, print-making, textiles ceramic to multi-media and photography will welcome visitors into their workshops, homes and studios Ceramicist Roger Cockram and painter Colin Allbrook will be taking part in this year’s event. Colin works in both oils and watercolours and through the use of light and colour depicts the life and cultural activity of North Devon. Colin has won the prestigious Turner Watercolour Award as well as the Rowland Hilder Award for landscape painting at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour exhibition.

Roger Cockram was one of the first ceramicists to be invited to take part in Bonham’s Contemporary Craft auctions in London. Roger will take visitors on a mini-guided tour of his work from un-worked clay through to the finished glazed piece at his Chittlehampton Pottery and Gallery.

For the first time, visitors will be able to see an artist showing their work in a newly restored gypsy caravan located near Atherington with the stunning backdrop of the Taw Valley.

Art enthusiasts are being encouraged to go green for Art Trek by visiting the many studios by bike. Anyone who cycles and visits more than 3 studios will have a loyalty card signed and entered into a prize draw to win an original piece of art or a cycling accessory. The prize draw celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Tarka Trail which was inspired by Tarka the Otter book by Henry Williamson. For further information contact Stella Levy 01769 540602

Libbear Barton would be the ideal base for large groups or families wishing to enjoy the artistic delights of North Devon. Choose from a large Georgian farmhouse which sleeps 14 or one of three sumptuous cottages on a glorious 40 acre Devon estate at Shebbear near Beaworthy.

Nowhereisland Ilfracombe October 2012

Nowhereisland is a public art project conceived by the artist Alex Hartley. It is one of 12 arts projects across the UK, funded by the Arts Council of England which will form part of the cultural Olympiad in summer 2012.

Imagine an Arctic island traveling south- a landscape on the move. After leaving Norway, the island enters international waters and is declared an island nation: Nowhereisland. The island will travel around the coast of South West England and it is due to arrive at Ilfacombe’s historic harbour during the town’s annual festival, Sea Ilfracombe in October. Schools are using Nowhereisland as a catalyst for teaching on citizenship, geography and politics over the coming months and two students from Ifracombe Arts College have been contributing ideas to the project and following their trip to the Artic last year with the Nowhereisland team.

Student hosts will be working with the wider community to devise welcome and farewell events and produce activities for the project.

Art fans and gourmets will no doubt “hot-foot it” to Damian Hirst’s restaurant the Quay at Ilfracombe, but they may like to relax and enjoy the chic style at the boutique Hampton’s Hotel in the town. Interior design courses are also available at the hotel.


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