Celebrating 10 Years of Contains Art
01.07.23 - 30.07.23
In July 2023, it will be 10 years since we first opened the doors to our container gallery on the quayside in Watchet - the seed from which all of East Quay has grown. To mark the occasion, artists from West Somerset and beyond have been invited to reflect on what ten years of Contains Art means to them, by building their own to-scale replica shipping containers. ‘Out of the Box’, curated by Andy Davey, brings their responses together in celebration of culture, creativity and containers.
We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has made work for this exhibition - you've all been such an important part of celebrating 10 years of Contains Art!
Information about all the artworks in the exhibition, including artists, contact details, biographies and some words about their inspiration for their container creation are listed below. Prices are also listed where works are for sale.
OUT OF THE BOX
Celebrating 10 Years of Contains Art
List of exhibiting artists:
Iwork across several disciplines, including video, installation and collage, toexplore our relationship with our surroundings and how we see and experienceour environment. My work is often based in the documentary of place, exploringthemes of memory, history, nostalgia, and the boundaries between the real andimagined.
My work celebrates the beauty of nature whilst acknowledging the interaction of man in the environment, which often creates a situation where culture and nature converge, and it is this interface between the natural world and the human interaction with it which occupies me. My practice is research-based, and frequently made in response to sites of cultural, historic and natural significance. I work with historic buildings, and in response to natural locations, and I have produced a body of work which connects with natural and material culture, past and present.
My connection to Contains Art began in 2018 during the early stages of planning and building East Quay, with a yearlong collaboration with local sea swimmers, filming them entering and exiting the sea at Minehead beach. This culminated in an exhibition of video installations in Watchet Boat Museum in 2019.
I have used the container doors as a viewing device for an image taken from mySea Swimmers project for Contains Art. This video installation documented a group of year-round sea swimmers and explored our relationship with water and our engagement with the sea and swimming, through a collage of experiences and weather conditions, whilst offering a portrait of the swimmers who brave these waters all year round. This work imagines the scene if you were to look through the doors of a container to the sea.
It's black n' white.
Each portrait can be removed and sold at £45
Andrew Davey studied painting in London where he worked as an artist and teacher before moving to Somerset in 1984. Since 2008 he has worked full time as an artist, exhibiting and contributing to community projects across the west country.
Hornsey College of Art BA Hons 1969
Head of Art Islington Green School 1979-1984
Head of Faculty for the Performing and Expressive Arts, The West Somerset Community College 1984-2008
Trustee, exhibitor and curator Contains Art Watchet, Somerset.Somerset Artworks member, representative and exhibitor.
Superb exhibition spaces at East Quay have now been host to a number of marvellous shows by prominent artists. My contribution imagines shows by leading artists of the last 100 years or so: 24 portraits, a fairly random selection, though hopefully each recognisable. Small painted portraits in black and white are shown against the flat pack container set out in 2 dimensions.
Martyn is a west Somerset based woodworker/artist. He has been involved in various exhibitions at contains art, including a solo show as part of the distance travelled series. He has also had work published in contains art edition ofShakespeare's the tempest.
I've used Russian birch plywood to clad the outside of my container model, which has then been sculpted. The illegal war raged against Ukraine has led to a dramatic reduction in trade so that Russian birch plywood is no longer available. A small side effect of a brutal conflict that's resulted in so much death, destruction and forced displacement.
A Retrospective - of sorts
I was born in1943 near Henley-on-Thames and brought up there living on the family farm. I studied graphics and typography at Reading and after we moved to Somerset in the early 60s, I worked for various printers and did freelance work producing line drawn postcards. Whilst bringing up my five children I continued the freelance work and began to paint and teach. In the 90s I took a Cert Ed inTeaching Adults and subsequently did more teaching including special needs groups. I set up and ran several village art groups. My own painting developed over the years, andI have exhibited more widely including the RA and RWA. I have exhibited in two shows in theContainer Gallery.
Unfortunately, later in life I developed Parkinson's and, more significantly, my eyesight worsened as a result of Macular Degeneration over the past 10years. This made me change my work and to use Papier Mache both in painting and creating bowls. I have done no painting for 3 years. I have decided to take the opportunity to mount a Retrospective of a kind bringing together images of my work from the 1950s through to about 2019. There are lessons for others eg. how I wish I had images of all the workI have produced and sold! Also, wish I had kept records of sizes of work as well as more precise dates. I am still working to complete this 'exhibition' but can only do so through my husband Chris. We would like to find a way of giving viewers a feel for the impact of failing eyesight on an artist. How to do that? That's work in progress!
Flat-pack Contains Art
£250 (if sold all proceeds to go to East Quay)
BirminghamSchool of Printing, Leeds Polytechnic, University College London, Slade School of Fine Art. Former Lecturer in Art and Design - Harrow College of HigherEducation, Great Yarmouth College of Art, Somerset College of Art and Design,Freelance illustrator/model maker. Worked in advertising and publishing including Shirtsleeve Studio (Nancy Fouts and Malcolm Fowler). Featured on the front page of The Independent newspaper - ‘England’s Glory’ painting, in colour- 1996 whilst exhibiting with James Huntington-Whiteley, Gallery 27, CorkStreet, London. Invited Artist for National Touring Exhibition, FantasyFootball Art League 1998-2000. Exhibited with international galleries for over25 years.
Work in public collections - Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art, Professional FootballersAssociation, National Football Museum. Work in private collections - BillyConnolly and Pamela Stephenson.
On receiving my flat-pack ‘Container’, I immediately thought IKEA, famous for flat-pack furniture. Referencing René Magritte’s surreal change of scale paintings, I was intrigued by the ridiculous but possibly feasible idea of placing a forty-foot shipping container on a shopping trolley and wheeling it home. IKEA, a Swedish multi-national conglomerate, has been the world’s largest furniture retailer since 2008. East Quay is the antithesis to this, being a community interest company (CIC), profits being reinvested into the company and the people it supports, rather than maximising profits for owners and shareholders.
A huge acknowledgement of gratitude should be given to everyone concerned withThe Onion Collective, for having the vision to create an acclaimedInternational Art Complex.
Contains Art Neighbour
GerryWright was brought up aboard old-fashioned sailing vessels, with much sailing in warmer climates, before marrying her husband Nick and raising their four children ashore. As a result of this background, she has a passion for boats, coastlines, skies and seascapes which is reflected in her paintings. Since moving to Nether Stowey in 2006 Gerry is finding added inspiration in theSomerset coast, skies and landscape and trying new ways of expressing this.
Aspart of EDGE, she has exhibited in the original containers with Alison Hood,Juliet Harkness and Annabel Gaitskell. This contribution remembers the containers amongst the boats with Jenny Wren being restored, tucked in close behind. Gerry's parents owned and sailedJenny Wren some 25 years previously. This contribution remembers the containers amongst the boats with Jenny Wren being restored, tucked in close behind.Gerry's parents owned and sailed Jenny Wren some 25 years previously, so she has chosen to commemorate those early days of Contains Art. At the time Alison Jacobs was in the container behind but she has included a few paintings from the EDGE exhibition at Contains Art, showing in the container behind where there is also a small painting of Jenny Wren under sail in the Mediterranean.
I have lived in West Somerset for over 50 years now. It is my home of choice – I was born and grew up in Bavaria, came as Au Pair to learnEnglish, stayed, and raised a family.
Now I can’t imagine living anywhere but in this beautifulExmoor landscape. I have been drawing and painting from childhood, never managed art school, but often made use of my skills. I was a Glass Engraver until my eyesight couldn’t cope with the fine detail. Working with my husbandJim Horrobin I created realistic renderings of his metalwork designs to promote his work. Joining a local art group has encouraged me to grow as an artist, something I will try and continue for a long time to come.
I enjoyed taking part in 3 previous exhibitions at EastQuay: ‘Making an exhibition of ourselves’; Knowing our place’ and ‘The way we see it’. I have de-constructed the container. It has been opened out like a butterfly and formed into a free-standing triptych, celebrating the anniversary of Contains Art. The walls show copies of the 66 self-portrait submissions of the exhibition “Making an exhibition of ourselves”. The centre panel will have images of visitors to the exhibition.
Memories of an Enjoyable Week
I am a potter and live locally, working from my garden workshop surrounded by the natural world, which is my inspiration. I am more interested in the aesthetic possibilities of organic forms rather than an emphasis on function, and am also enjoying looking now in the abstract.
In 2015 I exhibited along with 3 friends at East Quay. We called ourselves Edge and titled our exhibition "3 Painters and a Potter. Enjoying abstraction, I have played with scale, colour and form to give a representation of the container when I exhibited there.
Initially a local landscape artist working in acrylic paint Katrin progressed into pet portrait commissions. In 2015 Katrin started experimenting with Fabre castell polychromes, coloured pencil really suited her style and her obsession with capturing the detail in her subjects. In 2017 Katrin made the move into being a full-time artist. As soon she heard the plans for the East Quay development Katrin knew she would like to be part of EastQuay and applied for one of the studios there. Katrin now works from her studio full time, she has also had the chance to revisit her love of painting, with a set of artworks featuring the Watchet Lighthouse. Katrin’s artwork style is realistic and highly detailed. She studied fine art and graphic design atSomerset College and graduated from Plymouth university with a HND in media makeup.
My container focuses on my artwork and the surrounding area.The main focus is Watchet, this is portrayed in the inside of the container. I have tried to capture Watchet right from the roots and the history which is why it starts with the fossils and the sea glass on the base, then the sides feature some of the important manmade yet iconic structures around Watchet. I like the idea of the viewer been able to look into the container from different angles to discover and view the artworks.
The external walls of the container feature my main artwork theme of animals and wildlife, I chose to feature this on the outside to represent the surrounding areas of Watchet, the countryside, the Quantock hills and Exmoor these subjects inspire me in my artwork.
As a professional painter living and working in Watchet for the last three decades I have enjoyed watching, and taking part in, the unfolding story of the original Contains Art, and latterly the astounding and multi-faceted East Quay. I have both seen and participated in some wonderful exhibitions and had my own one man show with a slightly surreal maritime the meat Contains Art a few years ago. I hope viewers will enjoy my piece and make of it what they will. I don’t really go in for explanations.
I’m an artist and illustrator working in digital image manipulation and manipulation of materials. I began my career 24 years ago using traditional collage techniques, with a twist. I now work mainly digitally, and I have undertaken many editorial commissions (for publications such as The Times, The Independent and The Guardian) plus book illustration for educational publishers. My digital practice also includes vector image-making in Adobe Illustrator – for book commissions, and logo/flyer design - andGraphic Design using Adobe InDesign to produce books and exhibition/publicity materials.
I am also a writer: I have written and illustrated children's books, and recently published 2 books of poetry inspired by the landscapes and history of West Somerset, which I wrote, illustrated and designed, and which indulge my love of the area and its stories. This year I was shortlisted for prizes at the Burnham Book Festival for my poetry and short stories - one of which was highly commended.
The concept behind my container is that of waves of unstoppable creativity that crash through, around, and out of, the containerStudio spaces. By collaging together open-source images by the scientific illustrator Hans Haeckel I have tried create a seascape that has come to land(the sea being known as a symbol of unconscious creative forces). So it’s what happens when creative forces are channelled. The outside of the box is covered with my printed illustrations and the I have used paper to try and create the effect of water bursting out of the doors and windows.
The piece is also intended to be a sobering reflection on the environmental future that we may be facing if climate change continues unchecked.
I work with live performance, sculpture and film to explore ritualistic behaviour and systems of control. By merging notions of a mystical ancient past with sci-fi fantasies of an imagined distant future, I create absurd narratives with ambiguous fictional realities. I build elaborate installations that become stage sets for live events, with groups of performers joining me to re-enact ancient fertility festivals and obscure imagined ceremonies within colourful make-believe worlds.
In 2017 I was commissioned by Contains Art to build an installation that became an immersive illuminated landscape and the setting fora live performance event.
I was born in Wales and am now based in Cardiff. I studied at the Royal College of Art and the Ruskin School, University of Oxford. I recently completed the Arts Council of Wales Venice 10 Fellowship, the g39Fellowship with the Freelands Artist Programme and the Creative-WalesFellowship at the British School at Rome.
I have created a twilight luminescent landscape inside a kaleidoscope mirrored structure. The internal clusters of glowing formations are suggestive of an endless crystalline forest or glistening cave, referencingThe Crystal World by J G Ballard. Meanwhile, the impenetrable mirrored exterior of the box is reminiscent of a sci-fi monolith or an absurd extraterrestrial object. This could act as a portal to another dimension or parallel reality, with powers to swallow the entirety of existence into its limitless interior.The endlessly reflecting inner space creates the sense of a vast infinite cavern, far larger on the inside; an expanded multiverse or a dreamscape of the imagination.
Ascending & Alighting
Charlotte studied photography at Kensington and ChelseaCollege. She has always had a keen interest in photography and enjoys capturing the world in all its forms, including the beauty of natural and urban landscapes, and those who inhabit them, as well as documenting the every day.
Charlotte previously exhibited art within a bottle as part of the ‘More Together Than Alone’ exhibition at East Quay: a photo message in a bottle, encapsulating moments in time and their transitions in Watchet harbour.
Seagulls are part of the fabric of coastal towns, negatively branded for their nuisance behaviour, reminding us that nature is unapologetically present in our manufactured world. Seagulls embody on a small scale, the conflict between nature and humanity. We invaded their territory, we build on it, and overfish and pollute the seas. In turn seagulls adapt to our world, collectively harassing people for food.
In contrast with the manufactured world, as depicted by the imagery of the lamppost, as well as the shipping container itself, the flight of the seagulls conveys the serenity of nature. The skyscape and the seagulls enable the container to fade, as if they have won the battle to claim their space. Yet, simultaneously, within the container is an exhibited image of a seagull, reminding us that this is a scale model of the container used for exhibitions. Perhaps both nature and humanity can co-exist.
Georgina’s practice is the result of the intense observation of place, space and light. Through paint she embodies the reality of seeing, all those points where feeling and looking intertwine.
Having graduated with a BA in Fine Art from BuckinghamshireNew University in 2014, Georgina continued her practice, alongside her contemporaries, in High Wycombe for a further two years; whilst also participating in a post-graduate program lead by artist Danny Rolph. By 2016she was seeking time and space, so, having previously visited Contains Art, she decided to relocate to Somerset... moving into one of the container studios that Summer. She’s since exhibited widely across Somerset and the south ofEngland as well as London, Berlin and Poland. She now works full time from her studio here at East Quay.
Her container MAD AS A BOX OF FROGS captures the doingness of the studio… the place where the process happens." studio, space, purpose, practice, battles, resolve, relationships, love, heartbreak, friendship, balance, chaos, commitment, sacrifice, trial, questions, solitude, collaboration, mistakes, happiness, freedom, possibility, paint, development, over-stimulation, quiet, pondering, limbo, line, colour, form, paint, thinking, touch, emotion, overwhelm, spontaneity, perseverance, fuzziness, clarity, horizons, ease, difficulty, forgiveness, promise, opportunity, discovery, awakening, dizziness, disaster, support, conversation, connection, wondering, reaction, community, understanding, truth, reality, contentment, thrills, fire, headspace, ephemerality, equilibrium, psychedelic, thought, hope, drips, dreams, evidence, grounding, time, paint, pain, addiction, compulsion, attachment, process, pause, productivity, abandonment, sight, staring, colour, fields, rush, tides, overflow, construction, spectrum, removal, discovery, management, overwhelm, routine, repetition, newness, fear, entanglement, responsibility, freedom, flow, friction, indecision, all-encompassing, endurance, paint, support, emotion, urgency, uncompromising, inhibited, outpour, sensibility, sight, longing, loss, reflection, repositioning, understanding, honesty, openness, bliss, calm, calamity, curiosity, clarity, compassion, passion, sitting, spiralling, failing, winning, results, wondering, questioning, splashing, paint, nonsense, knowledge, wishes, delirium, ecstasy, willingness, wantonness, desire, restlessness, endlessness, life.
Jill is a painter and printmaker based on Exmoor who enjoys playful, expressive line and pattern inspired by nature and landscape. As a new full-time artist following her career in teaching then art psychotherapy, EastQuay and particularly Albatross Print Studio has provided constant inspiration, support and opportunity. She has exhibited with Albatross on several occasions and has loved the warm welcome, workshops and knowledge that is so generously shared at the studio.
Jill was awarded a Somerset Art Works micro-commission for the festival 2022 called ‘My Space, My Sanctuary’ which was a collaborative project with artist Joanna Briar. The project explored the sanctuary provided by nature and included community made postcards. It was exhibited at ACEarts, Somerton then in Studio 10 at East Quay. Jill loved being part of this vibrant creative hub and talking to visitors who came to take part in the project workshop.
Jill was inspired by moving to Exmoor during Lockdown and finding sanctuary in the rolling hills. It reflects the isolation and discombobulation of that time. While walking, Jill was drawn to the image of a distant lone building, sheltering under hilltop trees. The sweeping slope and movement of the grass reminded her of the sea. It became a painting, print and her logo and is a theme she often returns to.
The container has become the lone building; providing shelter when the sea appears to be engulfing it and carrying it off to an unknown world. Inside, Jill has created a tunnel of trees, disconcerting in their situation but also reflecting travel and a destination offering hope.This is suggested by the lifebelt which provides a kind of light at the end of the tunnel which can be seen if the observer peers in through the doors.
I have had huge amounts of pleasure at East Quay ever since the start. For me, the Containers, then Arts Centre, have been like a gift sent from Heaven. I am grateful to all those who have worked so hard to achieve this creative space for everyone. My container has been wrapped like a parcel and it is being delivered by a flying angel that hovers above it.
Containing A Container
I moved to West Somerset from the Southeast in 2014, I live and work on a farm on the edge of the Brendon Hills. I did a Fine Art BA in London in the90s specialising in painting and I'm starting a Digital Fine Art MA withCentral St Martins this autumn.
I love finding and repurposing objects I find in the soil on our farm and along the coast from Blue Anchor to Porlock Weir. I'm interested in rural marginalisation, diversification and rewilding on farms, the changing shape and character of the coast and I have some more urban interests too. I've recently started coming to some of the workshops at East Quay, it's a great asset to West Somerset.
I intend to contain the container and some of its contents using sewing and wrapping. I am interested in the juxtaposition of man-made and natural objects. I intend to use items I've found on Watchet beach and local farmland. I try and work sustainably and enjoy repurposing items which might otherwise have been thrown away.
On The Map
A degree in Fine Art led to teaching art in secondary schools for many years. Now that I am retired I can concentrate on my own work. I am focusing on the intrinsic beauty of small stones, rocks, rock pools, breakwaters, in fact all things coastal. Looking at the natural world, interpreting it through a variety of media is key to my practice.
Currently, printmaking dominates thanks to the encouragement of Albatross Print Studios and Sue Lowe, one of the founder members of Contains Art. Alongside printmaking and painting I work with yarn and felt. I have exhibited at Contains Art and took part in 'Making an Exhibition Of Ourselves', 'The Way We See It' and 'Knowing Our Place'. To see my painting on a full page in the 'The Way We See It' catalogue, and on the front cover was very special to me.
Contains Art has put East Quay and Watchet on the creative map. It has fulfilled and continues to fulfil its brief of a significant regional, cultural player, bringing highest quality artwork to local audiences and beyond. It has regenerated Watchet and East Quay. What an accolade for Contains Art.
To celebrate ten years of being 'On The Map' it seemed appropriate to use a map to pinpoint the hub of creativity. I've used the container components in a 2D format as it best suits my idea.
I have lived in Somerset and Sedgemoor all my life. Studying Fine Art, I then went on to work as a Graphic Designer, print technician, and assembly technician. Over those years, as the Contains Art project has developed, I have taken part in several Exhibitions there, which has been a fantastic opportunity to get back to my creative roots.
Concentrating on the growth of the East Quay from the creativity of the Containers, quite literally, I have used the container as a planter to grow a variety of wild flower seeds. Creating a time-lapse of this growth, the plan was to create a zoetrope to display this made out of the container itself. However, as with most creativity, it doesn't always grow in the right direction, so I had to adapt. Mirroring the creation of the wooden containers, I have instead created a laser engraved piece using some of the timelapse images captured.
As part of the container conversion team and being its first studio holder, I have very fond memories of studio 1 with its harbour view. My themes and concerns as an artist were evolution and creation, linking with the similar interests and intentions of the poet Coleridge, plus his love for this area.
I painted in soil and silt and was delighted to take part in the children's events where I ran several mud-painting workshops and a 5 Rhythm Dance workshop related to evolution and creation. One day I realised that all my paintings unfolded as a story, evolving into one exhibition so, with the support of C.A. funding experience, I was able to exhibit in Bristol’s Create Centre posing the question: is our future 'Written in Stone'. This became its title.
I loved my four years with those three containers. Today I continue my theme, but as a poet.
My container has no walls, no ceiling and the door is out of place. It represents studio 1 where I painted for four years in the limited space of half a container. It represents my ‘uncontained’ ponderings and my appreciation for this creative space to explore the world of art and science, a continuation of my Fine Art Degree themes and concerns of ‘evolution and creation’.
The words and images on its floor relate to my Bristol, ‘Create Centre’, art exhibition of 2018 titled ‘Written in Stone’, posing the question ‘Is our Future Written in Stone’? Here I investigate the contribution of art and science to the evolution of our planet and humanity seeing patterns and possibilities for a healthy and ever advancing civilisation. “We are called to be the architects of the future, not its victims,” Buckminster Fuller. Systems theorist, designer, inventor and architect.
I'm one year into my BA in Fine Art at Bridgwater and Taunton College. I was brought up here and have lived in Watchet for over 30years. I did some research and writing for the Paper Mill legacy exhibition and was involved in curating a retrospective of the artist Song Bennett which was a joy!
It has been fascinating to witness the development of the 'art scene' in Watchet, and it has not always straightforward. I feel like there's a boundary in constant renegotiation between the artists, the work, the history and the place , which will never be defined or static. I am never sure where I fit into that spectrum, but attempting to work that out is a rewarding challenge, especially now I can explore it through my own artwork.
I discovered accidentally that printing with rehydrated Seaweed created amazing colours and textures that actually evoke the cliffs, rocks and tideline. Walking my dog on Doniford beach was where I realised I wanted to return to study again and so using seaweed feels congruent to myself and to themes of the exhibition. The 'happy accident' has been the driving force and I have just followed where it has taken me. I’m looking forward to seeing where else working in this way might lead.
MATERIALS - Seaweed, Indian ink, graphite, wood, glue.
Adrift on a Barren Sea
Renting Studio 1 at East Quay since it opened in 2021. When it was Contains Art I exhibited in “The Tempest,” “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “The Way we see it,” “Making an Exhibition of Ourselves”, “Knowing our Place” and “the Power of Trees”, as well as a collaboration with Ian Shaw on “The Blue Hour”.
In tackling this project, I decided to try to form a timeline combining my history at Contains Art/ East Quay. Starting with “The boat” (how I see myself as an artist) from a mixed show at Contains Art to “The Eye” (from a series based on the rise in domestic violence ) done during lockdown to the “ Berg in a bottle”(highlighting climate change) as part of the opening show at East Quay overseen by Neville Gaby.
I used traditionally made gesso and graphite as these are the prime materials of my practice the Container doors of Studio 1 form the outside panels of the Triptych and are linked to my interest in early iconography.
I am a printmaker of many years, teaching for most of them, exhibiting and experimenting. My studio is at Dove Studios in Butleigh, Glastonbury, where I host groups of artists such as Somerset Printmakers and ABCD (Artists Book Club Dove). Artists books crept into my practice 20 or so years ago, and now they have become my main means of expression. In 2015 and2016, Contains Art invited me to contribute images to Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and Shakespeare's Tempest, which is when I first visited. Now East Quay exists, I frequently gravitate towards the wonderful Albatross Studio, and, as a paper lover, I use Two Rivers paper wherever I can. The first thing I noticed about the pieces of ply that arrived for my container was the grain. Perfect plates for some woodcuts, and with the grain already telling the story. I also imagined something emerging from the box. A book, maybe - accordion books fold up but can be expanded. So I carved the wood, printed the book using the Japanese water based method of Mokuhanga, and assembled the box. I still didn't have a title, though Coleridge was in my head. And then the news of the breached dam inUkraine started to come through. Water, the stuff of life, can be for us or against us. Water water everywhere. The Ancient Mariner said it. We'd better watch out.
My practice is a ritualistic and repetitive process of memorial archiving. There isn’t enough time in the day or time in a life to repair every sadness, every awkwardness, tick, replayed moment, anxiety and malaise, every inherited trauma, every shared tear, every empathetic ache, so I make work which can sing and wail, and carry a process I cannot. Laying to rest these moments in time, thoughts and sounds through small accumulative gestures- assembled, cut, sewn, drawn, folded, cast, recorded, collected, archived -the work becomes a documentation, mourning and celebration.
My artistic relationship with Watchet began with the dream of building a singing wall. Cornerstone is an imagined relic from the foundational birth of Contains Art. The shipping container was so much more than the sum of its parts and Untitled aims to be the same, stripped back, pulled apart and reassembled to create something new.
Leo Davey is a full time, Minehead based artist working mainly in watercolour. He is from a family of artists all working with very different approaches. He studied illustration at Falmouth, specialising in children's picture books and has had a studio/gallery in Minehead since 2011 where he creates and sells his work.
Landscape is my bread and butter and being surrounded by such varied and stunning scenery why wouldn't it be?"" That's not to say that landscape is where it ends. Leo has been involved and exhibited withContains Art from the start in various group and open submissions exhibitions and also a solo show. You can see more work buy Leo in his gallery or on his website.
As a water colourist I immediately decided that this project required me to step out of my comfort zone. Watercolour on ply just wouldn't work and the idea of sticking paper to such a thoughtfully crafted box didn’t sit right. After much deliberation and design, I settled on an abstract solution painted in emulsion. Of the 4 upright panels, 3 are painted in the colours of the 3 original CA containers. The 4th is a familiar red colour often used to undercoat metal and features on East Quay’s facade. A shadow is cast by a low evening sun and describes the corrugation that is structurally essential to these sturdy vessels. The dark grey frame echoes the original doors of the containers and the plain glass (deliberately not anti-reflection glass) does the same. I did consider incorporating some of CA’s signature chipboard but decided against it as I didn’t want to compromise the painting’s clean, sharp finish.
Change the World… make a wish
I attended Birmingham College of Art from 1969 to 1970, and then studied architecture at Newcastle University where he gained a first class honours and subsequently qualified as an architect.
In the 1980’s I was a team leader in the government’s student training office and designed and supervised projects for government agencies including a dais for HM the Queen. In the 1990’s I was both main designer and project architect to the major extension to the National Archives.For the last 20 years I have been living in St Ives in Cornwall until moving to Watchet with my wife in October 2022.
I have just completed 10 day exhibition of art and architecture at the Mayfly gallery in Swain Street and look forward to being involved with East Quay in whatever capacity may arise.
To a place gone by
By a force… how or why?
Under the sea with the fish
Change the world… make a wish
A dream becomes true
For art and you
East Quay flats dismissed
Change the world… make a wish
Danger lies in wait
But just change the bait
Be careful when you fish
Change the world… make a wish
The above verse describes in brief the concept. The container lies at the bottom of Watchet harbour, but not the Watchet we know and love but an alternative Watchet from another time. Contained within the box are 10 philosophical fish. Each one has a wish or a saying which are fished for with a magnetic fishing line. Above is an old fisherman who unwittingly catches a mud monster.
I am a painter and have visited Containers art from the start and have viewed a series of interesting exhibitions during the last ten years and have attended drawing classes this year. I am very interested in its progress and future developments to come.
One side of the box depicts the shapes in the sea in green.The other side shows the word Diversity and colourful figures waiting for a door to open into life, and my hobby horse card and my contacts. The short end with doors has ALPHA written on it, the other short side has OMEGA written on it. Inside the box, 2 model heads depicting love / 2 heads are better than one and a small painting with the words “Our days upon earth are shadows" and the Jester looks out of the box he is the comedy diversity and the colour of life. Life is like the lid it does not fit.
Ten Years Contained
Open to price offers
I moved to Watchet the same year that Contains Art began.Its evolution and my own developing love of painting have coincided over the intervening years. I am now a regular visitor to galleries and events and enthusiastic patron of East Quay Kitchen!
I particularly enjoy painting portraits and figurative landscapes using mostly acrylics and water-based oils. As a celebration of the art and ideas brought to Watchet by Contains Art and, subsequently, East Quay over the past 10 years, this is intended to be an appreciative salute to the artists and exhibitions that have resided here during this time. With more time and space, I would have loved to include many more (apologies to those not represented!)
Images are not intended to be exact copies but are hopefully recognisable as reasonable representations! Here's to the next 10 years…
A Moment in Time
I was part of Contains Art from the outset, a board member and container studio tenant from 2013 until the containers temporarily departed to make space for East Quay. I’m now a co-director of Albatross Print Studio here.
I grew up in Bridgwater, left to study then work in London.I gained a fine art degree as a mature student in 2004 and started a print making practice, exhibiting in London/Surrey and teaching printmaking in adult education. I returned to Somerset in 2012, settling in Watchet after happening on Creatives Club. I count myself so fortunate to have found myself in this nascent art community at the perfect time. My practice was enabled by memberships of open access print studios, most recently at Spike Island,Bristol, then Double Elephant in Exeter. The realisation of a long-held ambition to open a print studio was made possible by East Quay.
The ‘container years’ were filled with many opportunities for my practice to grow, but the strongest legacy for me is ‘the geology project’. This involved all of the original container tenants, supported by funding secured by Contains Art, also introducing us to Geckoella and a deeper understanding of the spectacular geology of Watchet’s coastline. For a while one of the container studios became ‘the geology lab’ and Contains Art gallery hosted two exhibitions by the group.
My container is lined with the notes, stratigraphic diagrams and geological maps which papered my studio during that time. The layered patterns and textures in the rock forms here have always held a fascination for me, but deeper than that lies the sense of time stretching back and the minuscule window occupied by humanity. This is our moment, but in time our endeavours will be eroded away or buried under new layers of existence.
I am a local Exmoor artist and have been involved with several of the contains art exhibitions from the very beginning. I work in a variety of mediums and have submitted a self-portrait, landscape and collagraph prints. I am a current member of the Albatross Print Studio and enjoy using the space and attending workshops. I believe that art should be inclusive to all and run a local community art group which is now in its 10th year. This project has evolved into something quite different from my original concept! I have not tried to make an exact replica either in scale or accuracy, hoping only to capture an essence of the area and the impact of the original contains art which was originally a brilliant exhibition space for local artists. Mirrors illustrate the vibrancy and colours of the varied work within this space rather than individual pieces. I have used collections from the local beach, and I dyed the fabric using Indigo. As I write this I have yet to complete the task so I am not sure where else it will lead me...
Thinking Out Of The Box
A West Somerset man born and bred, proud to be Town Crier and Bell man of Watchet for many years. He has been a Punch and Judy entertainer for decades, a football referee and a local shanty and folk singer with his own album produced.
Trained at college in the old methods of printing, then working in the print trade for many years, he then moved into self-employment with multi-faceted roles. His stone carving came down through the family line and he uses local and sustainable sources of stone. David's stones have been purchased and travelled to far parts of the world. Often undertaking special commissions to private buyers and organisations, including the late QueenElizabeth diamond jubilee stone. The Watchet Conservation Society 'Sea Scape' which prompted a honour of titling him as Sculptor Laureate in 2010.
In capacity as Town Crier, he opened Contains Art and the new East Quay attraction. The container was reinforced to hold the weight of two complimentary local alabaster stones of contrasting forms. They are pinned into the top of the box. They are carved sympathetically to enhance their natural features and polished to enrich the colours and veins of this majestic local stone.
Trojan Dog @ East Quay
How do you enable a broad and talented community of artists to come together, express fun, instil curiosity, explore colour, narrative, structure and form, and promote engagement with media, the made, and the constructed? This question and the criteria in answer to this all come from my memories of the wonderful Contains Art project that I connected with in its early formative years. I worked on the Contains project as a director for two years and made lasting friendships with many of the artists that make up theWest Somerset Artists community. I have a close affinity with the Container’sGallery space having co-curated four exhibitions and run several workshops supporting local artists during this period. As testament to the success of theContains Art project, in supporting local artists, I have continued to work with many of the contributing artists through my work with the Stogursey ArtsFestival.
With regard to my response to the Container project, the steel box, which was the Contains Art Gallery, was not particularly inspiring from the outside, it was always what was on the inside: the ‘contained’ Art that thrilled and made you think. It took you outside of the ‘containers’ dimensions, it’s constraints and into imagination and conversations that went way beyond its four walls. I wanted to create a piece that was both inside and outside, with the container itself being almost lost in my imaginative response. I wanted to create some of the fun and playfulness that was often expressed through the Contains exhibitions and above all I wanted to create a talking point, the essence of how the Gallery will be remembered, as a living entity. Literally the piece is a curiosity, a ‘Trojan’ creature containing a narrative full of surprises, but abstractly open to be explored.
My connection to East Quay and the coastal landscape surrounding it has deepened over the years. I enjoyed the inspiration from visiting the containers on my holidays to Watchet, then watching the East Quay development blossom. I focused my MA project on this shifting coastal landscape and the eerie Hinkley Point, in which I walked and immersed myself, experimenting with processes and wild pigments, while drawing on animism, deep time and ritual in landscape. It was a healing and life altering experience. Now I live in Somerset, I spend a lot of time at Helwell Bay witnessing the change throughout the seasons while my son enjoys the East Quay creator club. The West Somerset Jurassic coastline has infiltrated my bones and my work investigating the re-enchantment of landscape has evolved from here. In 2022 I was delighted to take part in the SAW festival and exhibit my work in the vibrant East Quay's Studio 10.
My container has evolved out of the landscape of Helwell Bay. I weaved in wild pigments such as the wonderful red Mercia Mudstone, with site-specific imprints of the ancient rock strata as my raw and direct response to this transitional place. I immersed myself in the zone between the high and low tide marks - a shifting threshold of ambiguity and paradox - and allowed what wanted to emerge from this magical space. I drew on the area's fantastic folk tales of singing mermaids, saints and sea serpents as I layered medium, process and narrative that echo the dynamic processes and stories of this landscape in flux. Inside the container are some of the treasures I have encountered while walking in this incredible place.
Inside Out of Shivelight
My career as an Artist-Blacksmith has spanned the last 25years after I initially trained in fine art as a painter. Now as a multi-disciplinary creative, I sculpt with metal, design and make lighting and multi-media installations - the first of which I created for Contains Art in 2015.
I was involved with Contains Art from its inception, serving as a Director until it evolved from three shipping containers into EastQuay. My installation, 'Shivelight' was created after a month-long residency in the container gallery to explore the possibilities of using it as a space for future installations. Subsequently, it transpired that the footprint of the container was indeed an excellent space for many more installations. I continue to get involved at East Quay with running workshops and recently I was part of an initiative to design creativity project boxes for use in schools as part of their curriculum.
Whilst reflecting on my residency in 2015 to create an installation, I recalled how my initial response to it was a desire to transform the container from being defined by its box shape into something completely unrecognisable. I always intended to deconstruct the space by creating a lighting installation - so I began my residency by observing the sunlight that flooded into and moved across the surfaces of the interior. The different geometry and shapes were a memorable aspect of the gallery space.
I have created this container with reference to that initial inspiration. Arranging the sections of kit laid flat in sequence, I tracked sunlight travelling across its footprint over the course of a day. I charted the shapes that were illuminated through my window and documented them to create the piece you see now. Lines of light intersecting, reminiscent of the shards of light-play sparking imagination that defined 'Shivelight'.
Kosmo Vinyl is a London born, New York City based self-taught artist, best known for his work with Ian Dury & The Blockheads and TheClash. After moving to New York City and starting a family, Kosmo's art developed from making original postcards for friends into his Art Blog "Is Saitch Yer Daddy" where he produced a piece of Art for every game West HamUnited played for 5 years. It was because of this blog that Kosmo was invited by Contains Art to produce a show on the England's appearance in the 2014 WorldCup titled "England Expects". Since that time Kosmo's practise has expanded to include assemblage, appropriation and painting, he also remains a committed mail artist.
My piece is a model of a record carrying case, for an imagined punk/reggae sound system, mobile disco or deejay from the late 1970's who played under the moniker "Defy HiFi". Maybe they came from Somerset? I first heard of Contains Art, through friends in Watchet as it was coming together and I always thought that it was a very "Punk" idea, to make a Gallery and Studios out of shipping containers. Punk was very much about use what you got and do it yourself. So when I was presented with my box, I wanted to make that connection, one that I thought that a lot of people would not consider - that at its roots Contains Art is a great example of the punk rock spirit.
Kathy Hinde is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice embraces open methods and evolving processes to nurture a more embodied connection to other species and the earth’s systems. Composed of hand-made objects, electronics and a blend of digital and analogue systems, her work represents a cross between kinetic sound sculptures and newly invented instruments. She enjoys collaborating with other practitioners and scientists and is a member of Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (BEEF).
Based in Bristol, Kathy has toured work across Europe, USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Colombia, Australia and New Zealand. Awards include an Ivor Novello Award for Sound Art, an Honorary Mention at Prix Ars Electronica, a British Composer Award, and an ORAM award. Kathy premiered her installation ‘…of which we are part…’ at East Quay in 2022, inspired by the symbiotic nature of lichen and started a new collaborative conversation with local lichenologist Pat Wolseley, Sounding the Shoreline of Watchet.
I have an ongoing fascination with the huge tidal range of the Bristol Channel. I love how this epic natural phenomena constantly changes the coastline every day by covering and exposing the mud flats that are so attractive to wading birds. For “Out of the Box” I have converted the model container into a music box. Please gently turn the handle clockwise to play a musical interpretation derived from a graphic score of Watchet’s ever-changing coastline. The coastline is ambiguous, with many possible interpretations of how to play the score. This is just one.
Living in Watchet for the last 19 plus years I’ve been involved and aware of Contains Art which moved on to be East Quay and the ups and downs of progression of this area of Watchet. I have taken part in exhibitions, from the start. It is a great addition to our town and community, full time work and now health has prevented more involvement on my part. I am now hoping to spend time on my art and the inspiration that’s all around this wonderful area.
I had a lot of thoughts and ideas, but then on collecting the pack and seeing how much longer it was, threw me and even during the progression there were changes, including finding you’ve done the wrong side! I was going to print it all over 2d and then 3D and pack with items that would be shipped in containers, tea, fabrics, on the trade winds instead of the Silk Road. I remember as a child our house contents coming back in tea chests from the Far East, some items never arrived back, as cases either broken into or lost completely. Shipping containers coming through the Suez Canal, the time it took and the risks of the journey or any journey on the sea.
I have gone on a theme of rust and travel east to west and how living on the coast in Watchet, with the second highest tidal range in the world, the changes in the tides with the cycle of the moon. The fabulous sunsets we see and these are within my work. I love using colour and mark making within my work.
I’ve used inks, gesso, acrylics for this mixed media container. I designed it so that it could be gently opened, using the recycled, found fishing line and hook. All sides are painted with different scenes, including the cycle of the moon in the container, all could be dissembled to make 4 pictures to be framed or to remain as a container.
Through the Waves
I studied at the Ruskin School of Art and in Barcelona where I lived for many years. I have always painted and now that I am back in Somerset feel very privileged to live in this beautiful countryside which is the inspiration for much of my work. I use oils, acrylics, pastels and mixed media and have recently been working on collages. I am interested in the shape of things, a sense of design and the influence of colour and would describe my work as semi-abstract.
Amongst artists who have influenced me are Cezanne, The Canadian Group of Seven, Ivon Hitchens and many others. I was present when the containers first came to Watchet ten years ago, taken part in several of their exhibitions and witnessed the recent transformation of East Quay into a thriving cultural centre and a hub for artistic activity.
For this exhibition I have used my container as a display case for my work, depicting a seascape. I have included images of Watchet and the surrounding countryside, based loosely on our local legendary poet Coleridge. These show a seascape with circling albatross, homage to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and landscapes of the Quantocks and Brendons where Coleridge and Wordsworth would have walked, exchanged ideas and drawn their inspiration. It is also a celebration of this special part of Somerset with its unique scenery and local history.
I have had a long career in Community Arts and Art Education. My current directions are diverse from supporting Stogursey Arts Festival, to working with community garden schemes in my village and a photography project about the local environment with other photographers. I have produced Art pieces for group shows with local artists at Contains Art in its earlier days. My container reflects the concept of growing creativity using the metaphor of plant life. I have been also inspired by buildings that gradually become consumed by nature and take on a new life of their own.
Jill studied illustration at Cambridge Art College after which she moved to London to find her feet in children’s book publishing. In2000 she moved to Somerset where the landscape and its creatures immediately showed themselves in her artwork which became increasingly painterly. It was in2013, shortly after Contains Art had established itself as Watchet’s creative hub, that Jill made her home in the town. The following year Jill enjoyed a successful solo in the Container, enthusiastically facilitated by its founders. She became involved in children’s events at the venue, thoroughly enjoying the vibrant nature of the young artists. When not working on commissioned paintings or illustrations for her next picture book, Jill is assembling material for a second exhibition at J&M Gallery on London’s famous Portobello Road. Her most recent book, ‘Around the World on 80 Horses, is due to be published by Child’s Play International in August 2023.
The beauty of art is in its lack of limitations, it’s absence of right-or-wrongs. All surfaces, media and techniques are fair game. Each artist can experiment - or conserve - as they see fit. Something similar holds true for the viewer. Art history no longer seeks to teach ‘art appreciation’. The viewer is free to accept, avoid, disdain as they wish; to learn more or to ignore. Art is no longer solely confined within academies or institutions or commercial galleries. Wherever you are, whatever your skillset, your art is your art.
Window on the Quantocks
£75 to Charity(Taunton Welcomes Refugees)
I was first captivated by the Quantocks in 1979 while walking the hills, coombes and coast with my (future) husband. I said then “we’ll retire here” - and that’s exactly what we did, moving here in 2003.
It was the slanting light through the oaks and birches in the combes, the expanse of sky and hills on the moors; and contrasting these, the wonderful pavements of rock and banks of pebbles on the coast that inspired to interpret my response in paint (and also in clay).
Until then I had been a potter, an art teacher, Puppet maker and performer for our travelling theatre, Brog Puppets, while bringing up a family. I have shown in SAW’s Open Studios on and off since 2004. Joining other artist friends (as ‘Edge’) I have exhibited at Contains a few times, led a clay workshop and joined in the self-portrait show.
I am a Graphic Designer and moved to Watchet in 2022, drawn by the location and thriving arts community. I have attended numerous events and workshops at East Quay, which has provided inspiration to explore my own creative process. A fun representation of the diversity of arts and activities available to all ages and abilities at East Quay.
Lisa Takahashi (b.1981, Hertfordshire) is a Taunton based artist who works primarily with painting and printmaking techniques. Her work responds to our contemporary world with colour, texture and an exploration into mark-making. She is inspired by drama created by changing light effects on the Somerset landscape, and how colour and shape can communicate the energy of modern living. Her favoured mediums are watercolour and relief print processes, including linocut and collagraph.
Lisa exhibits her work regularly and has previously shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition as well as with the Society of Women Artists, New English Art Club, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. She is a member and linocut workshop facilitator at Albatross Print Studio, who reside at East Quay.
The containers at East Quay have always been a striking vision; a simple cuboid on the edge of the land, looking out to the sea; a site of great drama, a subject that has inspired so many masterpiece poems, novels and paintings throughout history. When I was given my model container the natural response was to create an interpretation of this juxtaposition of geometric minimalism and the high romance of the traditional painted seascape. Turner’s seascapes are what initially came to mind and so I tried to carry some of his spirit into this work!
I am a jewellery designer and maker, working in precious metals and gemstones. I have participated in a few of the community projects instigated by Contains Art, since moving to Watchet from East Africa in 2015, and have watched and enjoyed the rapid growth and exciting flourishing of the art scene around Contains art and now East Quay.
My initial inspiration for my container was mirrors in my garden and the playful illusions that they create. From there I let the process reveal itself, concerned mainly with the pragmatic choices that it required of me, whilst surprised and intrigued by the visual adventure that unfolded.
I liked that it simultaneously symbolises the infinite possibilities that expand into the future for East Quay, hidden in the little nugget of the first small container in Watchet, which coincidentally, I later learnt, was lined in mirrors, so an accidental homage to that too.
After working for a textile company in London as a screen printer, Laurence went on to Central St Martins College of Art to study Fashion design and pattern cutting. Throughout the 80s and 90s he worked in London as a designer of evening ad bridal wear. At this time, he was also working in schools on various projects with children. His creative flair alongside his innate understanding of people would lead to him training as a psychotherapist. He continued to paint, sculpt and print his work moving with the inspiration of his life’s journey.
Now living in Porlock his inspiration comes from his passion of walking on Exmoor. His “From my chair” painting was part of an early contains art open exhibitions. Laurence is naturally drawn to working with texture and three-dimensional pieces of work. Exploring rock formation, texture and shape, the Jurassic coast and local landscapes are mirrored in a recent series of Collagraphs. An innate sense of colour is a distinguishing feature running throughout Laurence’s work.
This piece celebrates the explosion of art that Contains Art has brought to East Quay over ten years. I have made my container look like it is literally exploding with art. The artwork flying from the container depicts a progression of my own art over the same ten-year period, starting with the “From my Chair” painting, originally exhibited in the first container gallery.
I lined the container walls and floor with a collage of my prints, drawings and paintings of local landscapes. At one end I built a 3D diorama using gathered natural materials from Exmoor. This replicates the work that I was making under glass domes early on. I then constructed the container, so the walls were at different angles and the roof appeared to be lifting off from the force of the explosion. I filled the space inside with an explosion of flying miniature images of my work from various points in time over the last ten years.
I am an abstract artist whose practice is informed by the world around me. I see colour line and shape wherever I look, it could be a fleeting movement of light, an ancient mosaic, architectural shapes both modern and old, the formal layout of an apple orchard, shadows cast by natural or manmade items. This visual information is re-conceptualised and used as the basis of my work.
My immediate thoughts for the container were to use the ‘zigzag’ naval camouflage as a basis for the design, this was quickly discarded as I reassessed the shape, by turning it on its end I could use certain reference points to inform ideas, the major influence was the red lighthouse with its particular design by James Abernethy, this shape and the changing light from dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn is reflected in the colour and design.
I generally draw from life and paint from drawings. My main inspiration is the human figure, but landscape can also be a subject and for some years I depicted swans. My media are chiefly oil paint, pastel, pierre noire pencil and etching. I am a member of the Albatross Print Studio at East Quay, where I showed in two exhibitions in 2022. I assembled the long pieces of plywood to make a panel on which to use oil paint (after sealing with knotting solution). The concepts are not new. They are the magic of converting three dimensions into two, and the conjuring of a real presence.
Vessel of Creativity
BA Hons Degree Fine Art – 1993. Teaching/lecturing adults, including those with learning difficulties. Now working solely in studio at Nettlecombe, Exmoor. Exhibitions include - Contains Art, Watchet, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, Business Design Centre, London, New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham invited with Sandra Blow, Bath Society of Artists. Prize winner 3D. - Bath Society of Artists 2022. Commissions - Mid Southern Water, Mr and Mrs H du Moulin, Mr and Mrs P Grose Hodge. TV - Discovery Channel, Channel 4.Work in private collections - USA, Germany, GB, including collection of former Director, Tate Gallery and Robert Hiscox, The Hiscox Collection. Work in public domain - Minehead Hospital, The Quiet Room.
The original Container’s marine location sparked my thoughts of, after ten years, it now having evolved into many ‘cabins’ i.e. studios, galleries, kitchen, cafe, workshops, pods, shop - forming a huge ‘vessel’ for creativity. The squares cut from the wood of the flat pack are lashed together referencing both sea going sails lashed to beams or the many spaces in juxtaposition forming the new East Quay. The symbols are in vertical position referencing a mast and denote that for which the Container and East Quay proudly stands.
Original member of Contains Art. Volunteer director for 3years, help start and build Contains Art shopping containers. Now a studio holder at East Quay. Practicing visual artist and also member of Hatch. Work mainly in acrylic ideas and visuals developed from art making on iPads and iPhone. Experimenting and playing with film and sculpture. Exploring ideas of landscape, environment and sense of place. A shipping container Kaleidoscope. Mock up for a life size version in Studio 4.
Fracturing and reflecting images and film collected during my artistic life. Moving my arts practice to Watchet and the East Quay being a member of Contains Art has encouraged me to reflect and experiment with my artist's practice. The kaleidoscope is a metaphor for this.
After almost 30 years of experimenting with many creative mediums I discovered printmaking and everything clicked. What initially was a happy discovery became something much more. A few years later we moved to Watchet and shortly after that East Quay and Albatross Print Studio opened to the public. Initially I was a guinea pig at the studio, then a member and for the last year I have had the great pleasure of being a director and tutor.
My container is covered inside and out in print graffiti. The prints forming this graffiti have been hand printed onto the container using pieces of lino from my previous works. The inside contains the only print where all of the layers are present. This print is broken down so the viewer can see each individual layer from above, or view it through the windows and bring the layers together.
Time often features in my work, the use of carved lino from my early printing days until the current time, echoes the celebration of a decade since Contains Art began. Layering the prints over each other reflects time layering as it passes, be it in decades, events, phases or fashions. The print broken down into layers inside the container, represents a moment in time. A moment that is paused, to stop, reflect and celebrate how we got here.
Bill van den Ijssel
What you see is what you get.
Having started his artistic journey 37 years ago Bill continues to work on making sense of the world through his art. Being involved with contains art from the beginning and contributing to many shows over the ten years. He is looking forward to future involvement at East Quay. Lined with mirrors on the inside reflecting itself to itself while covered in mirror on the outside reflecting the world around the container. Art can reflect the world to the viewer as well as the art of the artist.
£100 (to be donated to Contains Art)
I’m a painter and maker and most recently a stop motion filmmaker “The Man Who Mends Things”. I live locally and have been helped in this project by my daughter Hope Mahlich an illustrator and wordsmith. I think the gallery at East Quay is wonderful… wonderful so proud of it!” The idea is simple so much creativity to come out of so small a space.
To the Lighthouse
I have been connected to Nettlecombe and from then to Watchet for many years. It has been thrilling to see East Quay emerge from the boat yard and to witness its increasing role as a meeting point for people to be introduced to such varied art forms or simply socialise. Having produced a bottle for the first exhibition, I felt very interested in being involved with this show. I am a landscape designer with many projects both commercial and private in London and abroad. I decided to dismantle the container and cut the various elements into small pieces, just keeping the base intact. A sinuous gravel path leads to a mound with steps allowing a climb towards a lighthouse. I have always associated Watchet with its harbour, which I knew when it was still a functioning port, and with its striped lighthouse. The mound is a symbol of toil, hope and a panoramic vision once on the top. It could also represent East Quay's journey.
I began working with East Quay when it was Contains Art, participating in 2 residencies relating to Watchet and the harbour. Having recently moved to Watchet (a bit of a dream come true) I have joined Albatross Print Studio and plan on continuing my creative relationship with the town and the West Somerset Coast. The house we have recently moved to needed a complete renovation. This has taken most of my time and creative energy. This piece is made from scraps collected from the house during that time and will serve as a reminder of its history and all the hard work we have been putting into making a home for us.
When the shipping container studios were still just an ideaI wanted to be involved. After several years of working alone in the studio at home the thought of being surrounded by other artists in a small community sounded like a great way to work. I signed up for a studio at the first opportunity and ten years later am still here, admittedly in a somewhat larger space! The delight at coming to work here every day has never gone away and the evolution from our original container courtyard into East Quay has been quite amazing to witness.
As a sculptor working with a wide variety of materials it isa constant challenge to keep these under control. Some are quite wilful and take every opportunity to unravel or sprawl across the studio, others are fragile or very small. To manipulate, cut, mix and colour all these different substances requires a wide range of tools and equipment. All these things jostle for space with my sculptures, the finished, in progress or just ideas captured in wire then abandoned. The ideas and inspirations, books, found objects, scribbled notes and images. How can they all be contained?
NFS but commissions welcome
Lydia’s work is site responsive and examines places undergoing change through human actions. She develops experimental devices to record walks and processes of decay within post-industrial landscapes and places rapidly flooding or eroding. The work that forms from the processes is not static, but allowed to bend, flake and crumble, forming site responsive installations of print, paintings, drawings and sculpture. Walking is central to Lydia’s practice as a way to examine the human traces in our landscapes and as a way to form alternative maps of textures, eroding earth and foraged discarded objects as a kind of ongoing ‘Library of Lost Things’. This work comes from earth, rust fragments and marine plastics foraged from walks along the West Somerset and North Devon Coast. An earlier form of this work was exhibited in Contains Art in 2018.
I was thinking about shipping containers as a witness and a holder of human made objects, moving them across the globe from place to place. Witnessing marine pollution and rising seas as ice caps melt, housing the endless production of stuff that is discarded when no longer of use. I wanted to find a way to form a residue from touch and pressure using earth and rust pigments made into ink. I was also making a connection to the Victorian mania for collecting and pressing flora and fauna, often to the point of extinction. Our human need to own and press down. The container as a mobile press joined me on a series of coastal walks. The paper holds records of these points of contact between rust from abandoned structures and earth eroding into the sea, plastics and metal debris encountered along the way.
I Can't Contain This Beautiful Life
Elaoise Benson received a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2022, her art practice includes painting, poetry and performance. Within her work, Benson often explores themes of feminism, love and environmentalism. Her abstract paintings draw inspiration from meditative explorations of the Somerset countryside. Benson believes that establishing deeper connections within our local environment can provide a core foundation for fighting Climate change on a larger scale. Since the loss of her Mother in2022 Benson writes about the experience of grief and trauma; finding that nature can become a place of healing and spiritual restoration.
Benson has exhibited across the UK including London, Bristol and Somerset. Having previously worked at Contains Art as a Gallery Assistant, Benson continues to perform at East Quay’s monthly Open Mics. Having pursued art full-time, she now paints as part of the Hatch Artist Collective at her studio in Langport.
Within my work I have been finding natures' portals, whether that be the sky peeking through branches or the view through a line of trees. A scenic view can become a tool for escapism, and in viewing this beauty we find ourselves in a state between reality and imagination. My container attempts to hold this feeling inside it. But as the title suggests, containing the aesthetic beauty of a landscape so vast is an impossible task. The painted outside of the container reflects Somerset’s outstanding woodland, whilst the interior blue cyanotype harkens back to the sea. The container houses secret writing within miniature ‘messages in a bottle’. This refers back to Contains Art exhibition ‘More Together Than Alone’ which displayed community made ‘artworks in a bottle’. The enclosed messages are preserved between reality and imagination. They hold your longings as much as they do mine.
Joanne Horrobin's artwork brings you form and precious vivid colour with a gaze into the spiritual and conceptual ideas of love and loss, movement and homecoming. Inspired by reflective light and minute detail of nature, by the vast yet gentle curves of the Exmoor landscape, Joanne creates a powerful synthesis in fused vitreous enamel and copper.
Living in Exmoor her whole life, with links to Watchet and Doniford, Joanne participated in the portrait exhibition 10 years ago at East Quay and sees this as an opportunity to reflect on her practice, and explore new ideas. The gentle breeze on your face, the rhythmic motion of toing and froing, and the changing views of landscape and sky. Moments of freedom, reassurance and contentment, and a bit of exhilaration to!
The swing is fundamental at different stages of our lives, most of us can remember being swung by our parents, as teenagers, with friends and later swinging your own children and grandchildren, and the rare occasion when, as adult's indulging and sitting a while. The swing, understated, invaluable.
Toni loves to make things: 'It is making things that makes us human' Neil MacGregor. Toni has exhibited extensively including numerous times at Contains Art. She is represented by the Beardsmore Gallery in London and by CLOSE Ltd in Somerset. Toni was elected to become an academician by The Royal West of England Academy in 2015.
In 2017 I curated an exhibition for Contains art to highlight the plight of The Arts in education which were being eroded for the sake of league table points and ignorance. I asked 33 of my ex A level student from The West Somerset Community College who were now successfully working in their different creative fields to find their personal interpretation of Hokusai's great wave, The show was called NEW WAVE. The response was tremendous, and the exhibition went on tour to Frome and Bristol.
I wanted my container to convey this exhibition, but my first task was to transform the brutal shape of the container. My solution was to turn the plywood shapes into a Japanese screen using the exhibition flyers as images on the panels. The Japanese script is a copy of Hokusai's written title for THE GREAT WAVE.
Sarah lives in Watchet and is a co-director of Albatross Print Studio at East Quay. Albatross is equipped to support a range of fine art printmaking disciplines including silkscreen, intaglio and relief printing. The studio offers courses and workshops as well as resources for professional artists. Sarah also works at Two Rivers Paper Company who relocated to the Art Centre when it opened in 2021.
Sarah studied BA Fine Art printmaking and works predominately with monoprint, lino block and mixed media on paper and canvas. She is inspired by organic forms and structures, coastal topography and symbolism. Working intuitively, she applies multiple layers, overpainting or printing, embossing and stitching pattern into surfaces. Sarah is a member of the Somerset Printmakers group.
This container is linked to Sarah's work completed as part of an exhibition at East Quay based on the theme 'In-between'. The container has been screen printed using multiple layers of coloured stencils with a final overlay of hand printed 'tally marks' or timekeepers. It is a THANK YOU to Contains Art for the opportunities given to all things creative over the past10 years. What a journey!
Rose Davey lives and works in London. She grew up in Minehead, attending WSCC, and exhibited in ‘New Wave’ at Contains Art in 2018.Recent shows include Same Same, Sid Motion Gallery, London, 2022, Until the World became the Walls all Around, Canopy Collections, Van Gogh House, London2021, Conversations on Colour, Cooke Latham Gallery, London, 2020.
Since completing her MFA at the Slade School of Fine Art in2010, Rose has returned each year to deliver art history lectures to Graduate Painting students. The Slade lectures were repurposed and presented live on line as LOCKDOWN LECTURES in 2020. In November this year Rose will present a lecture on the work of Philip Guston at East Quay. In October 2022 Rose appeared on Jimmy Carr Destroy’s Art on Channel 4, where she successfully argued against Janet Street-Porter to save a photograph by artist Sally Mann.
Rather than use the container as an object that holds or presents something, I instead wanted to use it as a material. I broke up the container with my bare hands into as many pieces as I could manage and coloured in each fragment individually with felt tip pen. I spread the parts across the floor and picked out the colours my eyes were drawn to. I then began to make combinations of colour and shape I found to be visually satisfying. I stacked the rest of the pieces in a single pile and placed the colour and shape configurations I wanted to remain visible on top.
Time and Change
My relationship is mainly pre East Quay. I have participated in exhibitions for local artists in the Gallery container and spent some time working in the studio 1 container. I am a founder member of the Roadwater Art Group. The main theme of my work is the inevitability of change over time. This is illustrated by the 'mega' evolution of Contains into East Quay. Other motifs are associated with the concept of time and space at a more cosmological level include the expansion of the universe and the Halle- Bopp comet over Stonehenge on its 2500 year orbit, and I couldn't resist the Tardis!
Samantha Petrie Artist
I am a portrait and figurative artist, however I do enjoy creating paintings that tap into our emotional well-being and give us a sense of calm. My main medium is oil paint and clay I create busts with clay.
I have exhibited at East Quay before, which was also a collaborative exhibition. My container has not been painted on the outside to signify the ”every day“, that we often view as plain and mundane, with our faces often facing our phones or a computer. The rich natural beauty of nature seems to be lock away, confined away from our eyes because of our screens and walls.
I've been a tenant in Studio 7 at East Quay since the centre opened in 2021, where I make art, teach, and perform. I studied at Goldsmiths College, London and have exhibited in London, Sheffield and Somerset.
I concentrate on themes of control, confinement, freedom and flow. The original container studios at Contains Art evolved into East Quay, therefore my concept for the replica container was to explore its potential for expansion. My large studio at East Quay and the encouragement of The Onion Collective have allowed my artistic practice to extend beyond its walls to public performances on the balcony and courtyard. The exciting venue has provided limitless opportunities for teaching, playing, performing and learning.
I’ve had to breathe deeply to find courage in my expansion and occasionally shrink away back into the safe confines my studio. I’ve breathed life into my container’s balloons as I do my ideas, and for the duration of this exhibition I’m intending that some balloons may deflate and shrivel, others will remain controlled and confined, while most will resiliently extend beyond its boundaries into the public space. I'll enjoy relinquishing control of the outcome.
Our huge thanks again to all exhibiting artists!