Sculpture by the Lakes sponsors Dorset Art Weeks 2014 with the UK’s first ever Quick Draw event and inspiring lecture series. Talks by Lucien Freud’s daughter Annie and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon.
In its capacity as a headline sponsor for Dorset Art Weeks 2014, Sculpture by the Lakes, at Pallington Lakes, Dorset, will play host to the UK’s first ever Quick Draw fundraising event as well as an inspiring arts lecture series including talks by Lucien Freud’s daughter Annie and renowned art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon. Dorset Art Weeks, run by Dorset Visual Arts, is a bi-annual fortnight-long open studios event involving 1,000 artists from across the county, taking place this year from 24 May – 8 June 2014.
Described as one of Britain’s ‘most unique sculpture parks’, Sculpture by the Lakes was created in 2006 by leading British contemporary sculptor Simon Gudgeon alongside his wife Monique, and comprises 26 acres of ex-fisheries which provide a unique backdrop for his sculptures and a tranquil environment for arts, garden and wildlife enthusiasts alike. As well as in this permanent setting beside the River Frome, Simon’s sculptures are in private collections across the world and on public display in the USA and London’s Hyde Park.
The Quick Draw event on 23 May 2014, 4.30pm-10pm, will see 15 panel-selected artists from the region creating brand new works within a tight 90 minute timeframe, live for the audience to watch and engage with, around the gardens and lakes of the park. The completed works – which can be 2D and 3D – will then be auctioned off by Dukes Auctioneers with proceeds split between the artist and Dorset Visual Arts for the ongoing festival programme. A limited number of tickets are available to the public and can be bought through the Sculpture by the Lakes website.
Champagne and canapés, street food, picnic hampers from Home-Cooked Hampers, a jazz band and live performers such as fire jugglers and stilt walkers, will all add to the festival atmosphere to mark the launch of DAW14. The concept of the Quick Draw was discovered by Simon Gudgeon in the US, where it is widely-known and a very successful event format for fundraising in the arts.
In addition to the launch event, Sculpture by the Lakes has organised an inspiring lecture series for the first week of the festival, which is free with entry to the park (tickets priced at a reduced £7.50 for the duration). A recital by tenor John Hudson, a principal with ENO, launches the series on 26 May, followed by journalist Kate Adie giving a talk to tie in with the launch of her book ‘Fighting on the Home Front’, which tells the stories of the First World War through the eyes of women (27 May). Lucien Freud’s daughter Annie will present six of her father’s paintings and use them as a means of debating his famous quote “What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince” (28 May). BBC Culture Show presenter and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon will discuss Caravaggio, in light of the publication of his new book ‘Caravaggio – A Life Sacred and Profane’ (29 May). Former Art Review editor David Lee will give a lecture on ‘How the Art Market Works’, asking how paintings by unknown artists come to be worth $25million (30 May). All talks start at 12 noon.
Simon Gudgeon says: “Dorset has been a constant source of creative influence for me so I was delighted to have the opportunity to sponsor Dorset Art Weeks. It supports and celebrates the county’s creativity, which I am very passionate about.”
The chairman of Dorset Visual Arts, which organises Dorset Art Weeks, is furniture maker Simon Pirie, whose workshop and studio at Briantspuddle makes him a near-neighbour of Sculpture by the Lakes. He said: “Securing this sponsorship from SBTL is a fantastic coup for Dorset Art Weeks. The shared synergy with such a high-profile arts venue makes this a natural collaboration. We are all enjoying working closely with Simon Gudgeon and SBTL for the benefit of the arts community throughout Dorset.”
Dorset Art Weeks is a 16-day open studios event involving 1,000 artists at more than 300 venues across the entire county. It started in 1992 and is held every other year, attracting 25,000 visitors, boosting the county’s economy by £2m. It runs from 24 May – 8 June 2014.