If you’re searching for something to do with your significant other this winter, then look no further than the exhibitions that Dorset and Wiltshire have to offer this season. You can enjoy time being culture vultures whilst enjoying some peace and quiet without children.
A Gander Around The Galleries
Staying in Dorset means that you’re within close reach of the historical city of Salisbury with its beautiful cathedral and quirky coffee shops. Salisbury Museum is well worth a visit, with one standard price meaning that you gain entry for a whole year once you’ve purchased your ticket.
Featured at the museum for the winter of 2017/18, is ‘Terry Pratchett: His World’, comprising a collection of artwork by the man himself and treasured items owned by Sir Terry which have never previously been on public display. Also featured will be over forty original illustrations by Paul Kidby, Sir Terry’s artist of choice. This exclusive exhibition focuses on the life of this incredible man, who created the Discworld series, and gives an insight to his creative genius. Advanced tickets are available online from the museum’s website, or you can casually make an appearance whenever suits you. The exhibition opened in September and runs until mid-January 2018.
Hopping back over the border to Dorset, there are a plethora of galleries and exhibitions to catch your creative eye, however I have narrowed it down to some of the most spectacular for you to visit on your break.
The Russell-Cotes Museum in Bournemouth houses a collection of some of the most incredible antiquities, collected by Mr and Mrs Russell-Cotes during their marriage and now on permanent display in their beautiful Victorian home, overlooking the coast from East Cliff Hall. Their exhibition room contains regularly rotating collections, and from now until January 2018 you can see for yourself the work of the talented John Liddell; linocuts, woodcuts, wood engravings and sometimes combinations of these techniques. Each piece is produced by hand, using different blocks, or adaptations of the original block, for each individual colour. The artist can vary the colours and experiment with application of the inks and pressures, making each print – even in an edition of apparently identical prints – absolutely unique. Simply entitled ‘Miscellany: Linocuts, Woodcuts and Wood Engravings by John Liddell’, it will be exhibited in the Cafe Gallery.
The Cove Gallery
The Cove Gallery in Weymouth is a beautiful and diverse gallery that exhibits local artists’ work, which is available for sale at very reasonable prices. Two new framed watercolour originals from popular artist Mike Jackson just arrived at the gallery; ‘Me and My Big Brother’ and ‘The Fishing Expedition’, both capturing Mike’s great sense of humour and love of all things nautical. Local artist Suzanne Whitmarsh has created four beautiful paintings for her summer collection, each one featuring a classic Jurassic coastline scene, ensuring that you can take home your very own personalised view of Dorset.
Sculpture by the Lakes
Finally, having saved the best till last, one of the most unique and beautiful art experiences that you could ever have, lies quietly and unobtrusively near Dorchester at Pallington Lakes. Sculpture by the Lakes is the sculpture park of renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon, nestled in 26 acres of Dorset countryside. The winter opening hours are restricted from 10am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday between October and March. It is an oasis for art lovers and collectors alike and Simon’s vision of creating an environment that blends nature’s beauty with inspiring works of art, free from the constraints of enclosed spaces of a traditional gallery makes for a truly inspirational experience. Words simply can’t do the sculptures or their surroundings justice, so you really need to go and see for yourself.