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Arts & Entertainment

The voice of Euro 2016 comes to Marlborough

Izzy BizuIzzy BizuYou may not know the name Izzy Bizu, but if you’re a football fan you’ll recognise the voice – her cover of Edith Piaf's La Foule used as the theme for the BBC's Euro 2016 coverage.

BBC Sound of 2016-longlisted singer Izzy will be performing at Thirty8 in Marlborough on Tuesday, September 6 from 6.30pm in support of her debut album A Moment of Madness.

Tickets to see the rising star – who has played Glastonbury twice and supported Jamie Cullum, Rudimental, and Foxes on tour – are free to people who buy a copy of her album from Sound Knowledge in Hughenden Yard.

Izzy will be at the shop after her performance to sign copies and meet fans.

For full details, log on to the Sound Knowledge Facebook page at www.facebook.com/events/147221745711173/

 

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Folk duo come to Marlborough

Chris While and Julie MatthewsChris While and Julie MatthewsAward-winning folk duo Chris While and Julie Matthews will be performing at St Mary’s Church Hall in Marlborough on Saturday, September 24 from 8pm in support of their tenth studio album, released just a week before.

While and Matthews have been performing together since 1993, when they were members of The Albion Band.

They were the winners of the Best Duo category in 2009’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and have been nominated nine times since 2001.

Their songs have been covered by a range of artists including Mary Black, Barbara Dickson, Christine Collister and Fairport Convention.

Both multi-instrumentalists, Julie plays guitar, piano, ukulele, bouzouki, mandolin, harmonica and accordion while Chris plays guitar, bodhran, banjo, dulcimer and percussion.

Tickets cost £15 from www.marlboroughfolk-roots.co.uk/buy-tickets

 

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Hundreds turn out in blazing sunshine for the Pewsey Festival

The early afternoon crowdThe early afternoon crowdIt was a bit like a giant picnic festival - hundreds of people chatting, eating, drinking and listening to a good variety of music - under a wonderfully blue sky.

In Pewsey Festival's Magic Roundabout Tent, that was the green and white one, John E Wright sang "It's good to see the sun again..." and nobody would have argued with that.  Not even those who left the sun cream at home and sought the shade. 

For the rest of the crowd, the odd hand-sized cloud caused some consternation.

Cooper's Field sported all manner of food and drinks and fun.  The man turning long balloons into shapes either cuddly or fit for some safe duelling, was doing sterling work.  

We probably have the BBC and their Musketeers to thank for all the young ones chasing each other with Certificate U swords - made out of his very long balloons. Great fun.  In the end most people had a balloon of some shape and form.

Over in the far corner of the field there was a giant bouncy castle raising many   squeals as a little fear at the very top of the stairs turned to exhilaration and delight.

It was thirsty work for the Apes of Rock on the main stage with a playlist that included a number of tributes - and some very distinctive guitar.

Apes of Rock in action... Apes of Rock in action... ...their mascot......their mascot... ...thirsty work...thirsty work

In the green and white tent Simon Hall sang a series well-loved songs.  But his quiet version of Bill Bragg's A New England seemed to get the audience smiling with its theme of a young man who doesn't want to change the world, but is just looking for another girl.  In 1985 that song shot Bragg into the music headlines - perhaps there's a parallel somewhere between 1985 and 2016.

Balloon man with a new swordBalloon man with a new sword A balloon puppy?A balloon puppy? Simon Hall & fanSimon Hall & fan John E WrightJohn E Wright

You could chat to the stilts man...You could chat to the stilts man......or you could just listen & finish the crossword...or you could just listen & finish the crosswordThen suddenly there was a very, very tall man talking down to picnickers and children alike.  A man with an alarming beer belly and bigger-than-Elvis sideburns.

A man wearing eight or nine league boots - and obviously having fun and creating laughter as much from the fairly old as from the very young.  Nothing stilted about him.

Musical treats coming later than your reporter could stay included The Doors of Perception, Sonic Meds, John Otway, Blurred Vision - ending at midnight with a set from Tankus the Henge.  After the amazing sunset, for late stayers there were some overnight tents and camper vans in the car park.

If you could not make it this year, remember to check out the date of next year's Festival.

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Katherine Jones: Rabley Drawing Centres new artist in residence - and print maker extraordinary

Katherine Jones sketching at the Rabley Drawing CentreKatherine Jones sketching at the Rabley Drawing CentreThe Rabley Drawing Centre at Mildenhall has a new Artist in Residence - print specialist Katherine Jones.  She will be visiting Rabley over the coming months and working on a new portfolio of prints inspired by the countryside that surrounds the Drawing Centre.

Katherine Jones has been a South Londoner for fifteen years - she studied for her MA there - at the Camberwell School of Art (now known as the Camberwell College of Arts): "They had a great print department - and still do."  

Among the public galleries that have bought her works are the Victoria and Albert Museum, the London National Art Library, the House of Lords and Yale University.

For the past three years she has lived with her family - which includes two small and active boys - on a south London housing estate and this estate is the subject of the portfolio of prints she is currently working on.

Recently Katherine was Visiting Artist at Eton College.  She was the third female artist to hold the post.  During her time there she completed a series of sixteen etchings under the title Looking In.

Eton posed a challenge for her: "I responded very directly to what I was seeing - a more journalistic way of looking."  Many of her usual images build on botanical images overlaying them with imaginative metaphors of a fragile world.

There is not much that is fragile about Eton.  Although she did most of her work there in isolation, she found Eton's students 'great fun and obviously very intelligent'. Several of them came to see her work at the London Original Print Fair - and some brought their parents along too.

One of Katherine's difficulties at Eton was simply that since it was founded in 1440, the College and its buildings have so often been represented by artists - some still well known other long forgotten.  She wanted to reflect the history and the College's people in a different way.

Instead of the journalist's notebook, she made dozens of observational water colour sketches - and these became the basis for her subsequent prints which were themselves more representational than much of her work.

From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Chapel' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Chapel' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)    From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Drawing Schools' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)From Katherine Jones' Eton Portfolio: 'Drawing Schools' (Sugarlift aquatint etching)

What, Marlborough.News asked Katherine, led her to choose, out of all the varieties of the plastic and visual arts, print making: "I've always drawn, but with etching the embossed line on a plate is a beautiful thing  - and print making is very addictive."

She explained that the process is in itself an artistic expression:  "As you move a drawn image onto the plate - translating lines into a textural form that will take the ink - you've lost the drawing, but you have the basis for the print version." 

Katherine Jones at work (Courtesy Rabley Drawing Centre)Katherine Jones at work (Courtesy Rabley Drawing Centre)"The image changes a lot in the process - it generates a progression in the work and you can edit it and colours can change."

Last year Katherine Jones had an exhibition at the Rabley Drawing Centre and taught some its members - and she was very pleased to see that the techniques she taught had found fertile ground with one of the artists in the Rabley Summer Show.

In September she will be taking an in depth printing course at the Rabley Drawing Centre - however, we should report that places on that course are already fully booked.

More of Katherine Jones' prints can be viewed on the Rabley Drawing Centre's website

The works shown here remain the copyright of the artist.

 

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White Horse Bookshop sponsors Richard Jefferies Society's nature writing prize

Marlborough's White Horse Bookshop has become the first sponsor of the Richard Jefferies Society's Prize for Outstanding Nature Writing in what the Society's Chairman called 'a very natural evolution'.  The prize money has immediately been doubled.

Named after Wiltshire's celebrated and ground-breaking Victorian writer and naturalist, the Prize was first awarded in March this year.  The winner was John Lister-Kaye for Gods of the Morning.  

The son of a farmer, Jefferies was born at Coate near Swindon - the family's house is now the Richard Jefferies Museum.  He worked as a journalist in Wiltshire and became a prolific and sensitive writer on nature, who stands in the tradition of writers concerned with man's relationship to the natural world.

He also wrote children's books (including the popular Bevis series), a philosophical and psychological autobiography titled The Story of My Heart, and one of the earliest science fiction books - the 'post-apocalyptic' novel After London.

Angus MacLennan, the bookshop's General Manager, announced that the prize will be awarded next Spring at ceremony in its new events room:  “It is obvious from the breadth and quality of publishing I see represented on our shelves every day that we are in a golden age of nature writing.  This, coupled with our location at the foot of the Marlborough Downs, an area Richard Jefferies wrote about, made sponsoring the Prize a very easy decision.”

John Price, Chairman of the Richard Jefferies Society, is thrilled to have found such a perfect sponsor so soon in the Prize’s life: "... it seems, fittingly, to be a very natural evolution. Richard Jefferies was a Wiltshire man and would have known the area well – I am sure he would thoroughly approve of our new sponsor and of the shop’s support of nature writing and writers.”

The Richard Jefferies MuseumThe Richard Jefferies MuseumRichard JefferiesRichard JefferiesSubmissions are now being accepted for the second Prize.  The closing date is 31 December 2016.   The Prize is open to nature writing of any length or in any format that is broadly consistent with the work of Richard Jefferies.  Submissions may include first English translations and all entries must have been published, for the first time, within the calendar year.

MacLennan will join members of the Richard Jefferies Society council in selecting a shortlist which will be announced early in 2017.  The prize was initiated through a legacy from John Webb, one of the Richard Jefferies Society's most active members, who died in 2014.

For further details about submissions contact Angus MacLennan at the White Horse Bookshop: Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone: 01672 512071

There is more about Richard Jefferies and the Museum on the Marlborough Road, Coate, Swindon at the Society's and the Museum's websites

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Pewsey art gallery's timely exhibition of local artist's reconstructions of Stonehenge era

Peter Dunn: West AmesburyPeter Dunn: West AmesburyA major archaeological dig begins this week at Durrington Walls - part of the Stonehenge complex - that may change our whole picture of Wiltshire's Neolithic landscape.  Some of the most recent archaeological evidence features in the paintings and sketches by local artist Peter Dunn now at the McNeill Gallery in Pewsey in an exhibition titled: "A History of Stonehenge in Paintings and Sketches".

A huge geophysical survey of the Stonehenge area has made dozens of new discoveries, but the most astonishing is that as many as two hundred 'somethings' lie buried under the bank of Durrington Walls henge.  These 'somethings' may be the remains of standing stones or may be pits dug to take giant timber posts - the four thousand five hundred year old secret should be revealed soon.

It is often difficult for non-experts to imagine how our great Neolithic monuments fitted into the ancient landscape and were used by ancient peoples. Peter Dunn worked as an illustrator and artist for English Heritage from 1985 to 2008 and his close association with archaeologists and historians underlies his paintings.

The aim of Dunn's reconstructions is to use available evidence and archaeological theories to create an interpretation that will inform and inspire people - from academics to young viewers.

The results of archaeological excavations are often difficult to visualise when holes in the ground are all that is left of impressive oak posts, or plaster floors are all that survive of buildings. Landscapes can have changed dramatically over thousands of years and modern buildings and roads can confuse views of the past.

Beverley McNeill opened the McNeill Gallery in Pewsey's Market Place - with a clear view of the back of the King Alfred statue - in November last year.  She had run a successful gallery at Radlett in Hertfordshire for nineteen years until the 2008 banking crisis made her life there impossible.

"I hadn't really intended to open another gallery.  But visiting the Pewsey Festival I spotted this empty shop and I thought 'that is do-able' - and decided to take a chance."

She specialises in finding up and coming young artists who have never exhibited and helping them on their way.  Among them was Charles Moxon whose portrait of Harriet Harman MP is currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery among selected entries for the BP Portrait Award 2016: "I did such a good job, they're on their way!"

Alex Rennie was a resident artist at the Gallery and another of its "new and accomplished young painters".   His series of self-portraits - many showing a Goya-esque intensity - has sold well.  A selection of Alex Rennie's paintings can be seen on the Gallery's website where you can also see more of Dunn's work - and of the Gallery's artists.

Beverley McNeill's current exhibition of Peter Dunn's very Wiltshire paintings is open until August 12.

Peter Dunn:  2600-2500 Durrington in MidwinterPeter Dunn: 2600-2500 Durrington in MidwinterPeter Dunn: Durrington Timber Circle (Rough sketch)Peter Dunn: Durrington Timber Circle (Rough sketch)One of the most popular pieces in this exhibition is in fact a photograph - not for sale and not shown here - of a painting Peter Dunn was commissioned to make by English Heritage.  It is an aerial depiction of the whole Stonehenge complex showing very clearly the relationship between the stones themselves, the huge and mysterious cursus, the connection to the River Avon and Durrington Walls. 

Maybe Peter Dunn will have to paint a new version once the current excavations at Durrington Walls are over.

The paintings are for sale.  But as Peter Dunn does not want to sell his working sketches, the gallery has produced a limited number of signed prints from these striking sketches for this exhibition.

During this exhibition the Gallery is open Tuesday-Friday 11.00am to 5.00pm and Saturdays 11.00 to 3.00pm.

The paintings and sketches in this feature remain the copyright of the artist Peter Dunn.

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17th Century fashion explored at the Merchant’s House

Mr and Mrs BaylyMr and Mrs BaylyFashion in the 17th Century will be explored during a special event hosted by ‘Mr and Mrs Bayly’ at The Merchant’s House on Tuesday, September 20 from 6.30pm.

From rigid bodices and starched ruffs to skin-showing sleeves and fitted breeches, attendees will learn how clothing went from being restrictive and decorative, to comfortable and simple – and back again.

The event is part of the 25th anniversary of the Merchant’s House Trust, formed in 1991, when Marlborough's young men wore flannel shirts and ripped jeans, and the girls contrasted baby doll dresses with Doc Martens.

Tickets are free for Friends of the Merchant’s House, and £5 for everyone else.

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