On the Art Trail

What could be better than an art-week outing? Well, I think the answer is a series of art-week outings which Clive and I have planned for the next two weeks. We’ve made a good start with visits to Amo House and Karren Burkett in deepest Dorset – down among the Gussages in Gussage All Saints Church. These lovely Dorset villages always sound like something out of Midsomer Murders. Was it Amo House with a craft knife? Certainly not. Amo was exhibiting with Karren Burkett and it was inspiring but not at all scary.


I love seeing churches used for art exhibitions, although it has to said that the light is not always great. All Saints is quite good in this respect and the eye catching paintings of co-exhibitor Karren Burkett made for a colourful welcome. Her paintings are so textural, often with little lines that resemble Kantha stitching, which add shape as well as the aforementioned texture.


I loved her triptych, ‘Stormy Sky’ which caught the exact moment that a storm rolls in on a sunny afternoon and seems to heighten all the colour around it. Karren had caught that contrast between sunshine and threatening sky.



Amo’s wall pieces included her lovely quilts from the ‘Rolling Hills’ series. Such a lot of colour and movement and they were beautifully displayed here..


In contrast to that was the highly textured embroidery ‘Earth Treasures’ which combined canvas work with rich stitching and beading. The Snowdrop depicted below this piece won the ‘Peoples’ Choice’ award at a recent exhibition.

However, I think where Amo excels is with her decorative three-dimensional work. This casket, with its rich colours and textures, just makes me want to take it home – but she is not ready to part with it yet, she says.

Beaded brooches with convoluted wire work were reminiscent of Anglo-Saxon cloak clasps. Such beautiful work – we will have to get her to write a workshop on those, I think.



After the Gussages, we took in some paintings and lovely ceramics at the Garden Centre in Cranborne. Needless to say, it was not possible to leave without coffee and a scone for Clive.

Next on the list was a visit to Rosemary Jarvis in her delightful garden studio. Rosemary has been using the embellisher machine for recent work based on the Northern Lights and this has proved a rich creative seam for her with many of her pieces selling. They were all glazed so she has promised to send me a pic of an unglazed one and I’ll pop it on d4daisy’s Facebook page.



On one wall of her studio is an inspiration board for her work based on Indian themes. I think this would stand alone as a resolved artwork.


The exhibition continued in the house and Iwas taken with the floral embroideries here. I think we will be returning to Cranborne very soon as there is an Open Gardens event in a couple of weeks’ time and Rosemary certainly has the garden in peak condition. I was so envious of her cat-mint. Every time I try to grow it, Smudge destroys by eating, rolling or digging. I’ve now given up.

So, a lovely way to spend a day and there’s lots more to see. Dorset is so beautiful and next week we are off to the west of the county to do an ‘art and fossil’ crawl. I’ll take pics.