#DirectorsRoundUp: April

Book Tickets

Posted 3rd May 2018

Director's Round Up

It's been all change this April at Watts Contemporary Gallery with the opening of our new exhibition, Reflections: The observant art of Richard Bawden and Chloë Cheese. On Saturday 21 April, we welcomed renowned artists Richard Bawden and Chloë Cheese to our Private View, where they entertained attendees with anecdotes from their overlapping childhoods among the Great Bardfield Artists, and shared insights into their working processes. (Excerpts from their speeches can be found on our Watts Gallery Instagram and Facebook pages).

Later that same day we were joined by acclaimed journalist and broadcaster Jenni Murray for a special interview about her wonderful book, A History of Britain in 21 Women. It was a privilege for me to be able to interview Jenni and the discussion, in front of a full house, ranged from Boadicea to Queen Elizabeth I, Ada Lovelace, Dame Ethel Smyth, Barbara Castle and many other inspirational women who have shaped our values, culture, history and identity.

We were also pleased to have been chosen by Sky Arts who screened an episode of National Treasures: The Art of Collecting. The episode was screened nationally on 25th April and took a look at our temporary exhibition A Pre-Raphaelite Collection Unveiled: The Cecil French Bequest.

Meanwhile, down at the Chapel, stage one of our on-going conservation project has been completed. Students from City & Guilds London Art School have undertaken a thorough inspection of the Chapel, including carefully cleaning its interior and examining its surfaces under UV light in order to determine their condition. New lighting has also been installed, giving the incredible space a renewed shine and vibrancy.

Next up in May is Papermania - a day of craft-making family fun, Maypole dancing and live music - on the Bank Holiday Monday 7 May. Florrie Thomas joins us as Maker in Residence from 5 May to 7 May, when she will be carving intricate paper artworks as part of our Papermania festivities. Lastly, the final week of May is Half Term and Watts Gallery – Artists' Village will once again be bustling with activity all week long, this time with the theme of Dodos and Dragons.

We look forward to welcoming you very soon.

Alistair Burtenshaw