Frome Is Where The Art Is - All the news from Black Swan Arts
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How Burrito Boi took Frome by storm
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ISSUE 118 november 2020
s I write this Hello, I am sitting in a small farmhouse in a remote part of Pembrokeshire in Wales. The new Welsh lockdown has just been announced and I am feeling very relieved that we are leaving before it begins. We are here with my brother, his wife and my niece, who is the same age as my son. The house is in a little wooded valley, which leads to a tiny beach backed by trees. When we arrived we headed straight out, kids leading the way, to find the beach. Hearing the waves pounding through the trees was an invigorating experience. We passed a tiny church, accessed over a little iron footbridge, and several picturesque white cottages - all of which seemed to have absolutely no road access. On a little further and we came to a very old, and very high, stone wall with a doorway in the middle, through which we found the beach. As we bounded on to the wet sand, it took us a few seconds to notice the gruesome scene that awaited us. A large seal, with no head, was lying in the very middle of
My husband has now perfected an eye roll in answer to my suggestions of relocation the tiny bay - the perfect Hallowe’en frightener for the children. Then I noticed that there was another inhabitant of the beach that we had failed to spot. On a rock sat a very old man, hat pulled over his
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eyes and a cigarette stuck to his bottom lip. He took absolutely no notice of us, though the screaming children and barking dogs would have disturbed the sleep of the dead. Back at the cottage, we bumped into our host and told her we’d been at the beach. She said, “Did you see Bryn? He’s usually there, on his rock.” As we learned, Bryn spent many hours looking out to sea. And it turned out that the seal we’d seen was among the less interesting specimens washed up in the little cove. Due to its narrow shape, the bay was a magnet for bizarre flotsam, including a cow, a front door, a container of live chickens and once, a human body. Bryn had seen them all wash in during his watch at the beach, and he went there every day, rain or shine. Back at our cottage, fire on, I thought, “I could live here.” Romantic notions of living by the sea, in a hamlet with no roads, appealed to my inner hermit, much in the same way that a trip to a cabin in deepest Dartmoor a few weeks ago did. As my husband and I walked over moorland and crossed streams on little stone bridges I had fantasised about relocating to this rugged place. My husband has now perfected an eye roll in answer to my suggestions of relocation, as he reminds me that each time we get back home I say, “Actually, I don’t want to move, I love it here too much.” It’s nice to go away, and to imagine a different life, but there is no place quite like Frome. And thank goodness for that.
Design: blackinkstudio.co.uk Front cover: Burrito Boi Cover Image: Ed Schofield @edschofieldphoto Copy deadline for the December issue: December 14th Published by Rose Langley, trading as Make a List Publishing, Sole Proprietor Editor Rose Langley 07957878717 firstname.lastname@example.org . thelistfrome.co.uk *The publishers shall not be liable for any loss occasioned by the failure of an advertisement to appear, or any damage or inconvenience caused by errors, omissions or misprints.
» the list recommends « Rocktopus – the show must go online
We Hear You’s Silent Auction
At a time when live music experiences are virtually impossible to come by, Rocktopus, the nation’s favourite family friendly rock band, have found a way to reach out and engage with fans in the virtual world. ‘Rocktopus Live Online’ will be broadcast for the first time on Friday 6th November at 4:15pm from their Facebook page and will be a chance for families to be entertained by, and interact with, the band.
Cancer counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) is hosting a silent auction at the start of November and is inviting the community to get bidding and help the charity raise much-needed funds.
“Inspiring children to get involved with music is at the heart of what we do,” said Tom from the band. “Although we have two albums on Spotify for children and families to listen to, we’re currently unable to put on live shows or go into schools due to Covid-19.” “We needed to find another way to actually interact with our fans,” said Andy from the band. “The great thing about Rocktopus Live Online is that it’s not just the usual passive watching experience. The children will be totally involved in the show, being able to choose songs, join in with dance moves, ask questions, share jokes, share their talents and even help write new songs live on air. It’s going to be just like the old Saturday morning kids T.V. - only better!” You can join Rocktopus at 4.15pm on Fridays, from November 6th, by going to their Facebook page @rocktopusmusic
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Fundraising Officer Helen White said, “There are some absolutely fantastic lots in the auction, including meals out (and in!), beauty treatments and fitness classes, family days out, glamping and hotel stays and vouchers for services and products. A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the auction, it is so appreciated.” “Like all charities, our community fundraising income has been hit hard by the pandemic. We’re proud to have kept our counselling service going and so grateful to the many individuals and businesses that have helped us. The cake sales, fairs and glitzy parties will be back, but until they do, please get involved with our auction and help make sure We Hear You are still here in the future and able to keep supporting the huge number of people who need us.” The WHY Winter online auction runs from 1st to 8th November at www.32auctions.com/why2020. All proceeds go directly towards We Hear You’s free counselling service for people affected or bereaved by cancer and life-threatening conditions in Somerset, B&NES and Wiltshire.
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CHRISTMAS POP-UP (2 metres)
‘The November Edition’ The Silk Mill, Frome Friday, Saturday, Sunday 20, 21, 22 November (10am until 4pm) Join us for the second of our three special festive weekends in the Silk Mill, as we showcase the very best books the season has to offer. There will be little extras and signed editions – and maybe even some mince pies. So don your mask, sanitise your hands and get Christmas wrapped up early!
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» the list recommends « Rosanna Morris Bloom
Signal Fires – New Old Friends
November 28th - The New Year
20th & 21st November | Merlin Amphitheatre
The Why Gallery are happy to welcome printmaker Rosanna Morris for their last exhibition of the year. Rosanna has long been interested in sustainability, food sovereignty and growing, and her prints explore themes of horticulture and the natural world.
The UK’s leading touring theatre companies are uniting to present Signal Fires, a nationwide festival inspired by one of the original forms of theatre – storytelling around a fire.
Rosanna has been drawing and painting since childhood and began making prints while she was at school. She went on to study illustration at Camberwell School of Art, where she developed her own unique style, evoking the traditional feel of British wood engravings within the aesthetic of contemporary illustration. www.whygallery.co.uk
Frome-based New Old Friends are nationally renowned for their inventive comedy shows and are thrilled to be alongside great companies like Headlong, Kneehigh, ETT and many more. The company, like most of the industry, has not performed since March. This festival acts as a statement of hope and intent; touring theatre will return. The show itself is an adaptation of Crimes Against Christmas. It’s a thrilling and hilarious tale, this time told live around a fire at the Merlin’s Amphitheatre in the style of a radio play. The venue will be Covid-secure in line with the latest guidelines, there will be mulled wine & hot soup available. Please wrap up warm, bring cushions and blankets. Tickets £5.50 from www.merlintheatre.co.uk. Arrive from 6pm for a 6.30pm start. More information www.merlinetheatre.co.uk or www.signalfires.co.uk
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» the list recommends « Where the Art is – Black Swan Arts receives a lifeline Black Swan Arts has been awarded £54,000 as part of the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) to help face the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure they have a sustainable future, the Culture Secretary has announced today. Black Swan Arts is one of 1,385 cultural and creative organisations across the country receiving urgently needed support. £257 million of investment has been announced this week as part of the very first round of the Culture Recovery Fund gr ants programme being administered by Arts Council England. Black Swan Arts is a Community Arts Centre, which has been serving the people of Frome and the surrounding area for over 30 years. With exhibitions, shops, studios and a courtyard café, their vibrant and varied programme features contemporary and innovative art from local and regional artists. With no external funding, Frome’s arts centre is completely reliant on donations and earned income, which has been severely affected by Covid-19 this year. The grant will enable them to remain open, make up this lost income and, equally importantly, review
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a new business plan that will make Black Swan Arts more secure both in the short and long term. Hans Borgonjon and David Daniels, who made the application, want to put Black Swan Arts back at the heart of the community with a programme of innovative, cutting edge workshops and events. The exciting range of workshops will be aimed at all audiences and every community group, with something for everyone – school children, adult learners, career changers, business developers, anyone who wants to discover their creativity. Workshop plans include exciting sessions on robotics, ceramics, 3D printing, life drawing, chocolate making, drawing and music on an iPad as well as more traditional crafts like leatherwork, jewellery making, illustration, creative writing and painting. They will be aiming to provide as much content as possible through live-stream and online, as well as safely opening the doors to the much-loved arts centre in the centre of Frome. David Daniels says, “Within these challenging times for everyone we will provide an inspiring learning experience. This funding means we can make a huge variety of creative learning accessible to everyone.” Hans Borgonjon adds, “A great benefit of this award is that it provides us with time to think, plan and open doors to make good things happen again.”
Festive Feasting at Fat R a d i s h
his year, Fat Radish are pushing the festive boat out with two special tasting events to celebrate Christmas and New Year.
On Monday 28th December, Fat Radish presents the 12 Days of Christmas, serving up an impressive twelve courses, each one themed around a verse of the song. Fear not, no swans will be harmed in the making of this menu. Taking their already popular sell-out events to the next level, this wonderfully creative one-off taster night is the perfect gift for any foodie friends this Christmas. Tickets are available to buy now from the Fat Radish, and numbers are limited, so early purchasing is recommended. Next up, on the 31st December, the Fat Radish present their first ever New Year’s Eve event in the form of a spectacular New Year’s Feast. Seeing out a year that will go down in history, make the end of 2020 one
to remember for all the right reasons. With seven celebratory courses of total luxury and bubbles to boot, be sure to ring in the new year with us and start 2021 as you mean to go on – full on fabulous food! Tickets are on sale now for this NY special, and once they’re gone they’re gone, so get yours now. 12 Days of Christmas falls on Monday 28th December, and the New Year Fat Feast on Thursday 31st December. Both kick off at 6pm and tickets cost £75.
NOW SERVING SUNDAY ROASTS From Sunday 8th November 12pm – 4pm Bar & restaurant serving up seriously fat fare
Book a table
www.fatradish.co.uk 01373 596102 Follow @fatradishfrome 20 Market Place . Frome Somerset . BA11 1AN
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Burrito Boi A L o c k d ow n S u c c e s s S to ry
urrito Boi arrived on the Frome foodie scene during lockdown – a silver lining to the otherwise bleak times. An instant hit with anyone who has tried their food, Burrito Boi have gone from strength to strength, a true success story which combines the experience and skills of its owners with the enthusiastic support of Frome residents. Run by couple Dom and Mirabel and friend Alex, Burrito Boi had been a long time coming. “Since we were teenagers we’d always planned on running a business together, and lockdown, time out of the rat race, gave us the space and time to get it going.
We’ve always been passionate about food, especially Mexican food, and knew that was something the people of Frome would love. Mirabel has been a chef for a long time, so between mine and Alex’s ideas and Mirabel’s practicality in the kitchen, we knew it was something that, as a team, we could do well. All three of us were made redundant as a result of Coronavirus, so it was very much sink or swim! It was definitely risky using our final paychecks to invest in this business but we knew we had to do it,” Dom told us. The menu may currently be small, but it is perfectly formed, and made with the highest quality ingredients which, for chef Mirabel, is paramount: “We make burritos and inventive side dishes (if you haven’t tried their deep-fried spicy macaroni and cheese balls you haven’t lived). “Currently we offer a very limited menu, with beef and veggie burritos, as we cook from our home here in Frome. We use locally and ethically sourced produce, with beef from the excellent Penleigh Farm, and cheese from Barbers over in Ditcheat. Even our branding is local, from the brilliant Frome-based Pencil Studio. “We took a long time perfecting our recipes and putting our own twists on what we do to create (in our opinion) the ultimate burrito. We keep our pricing reasonable and aim to give our customers high quality produce at affordable prices. We put our heart and soul into what we do and we hope that shows. We’ve recently added our first dessert to the menu – our version of Buñuelos, a warm Mexican Doughnut, served with either Biscoff Sauce or Salted Caramel. Perfect for people with a sweet tooth”
“We put our heart and soul into what we do and we hope that shows.” 10
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When we asked the team what their plans for the future would be, the answer was unanimous “To open a fast food restaurant!” Alex elaborated: “We’ve realised the true power of community, and plan to have our own bricks and mortar business here in Frome. Our personal touch has gone a long way with the people of Frome. We have built great relationships with many of our customers, so know we want our business to be focussed around the community.” After only four months of trading, Burrito Boi is already expanding its service, with deliveries to Bruton on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and office/ work lunches on Fridays. Alongside Alex, Dom and Mirabel is a crack team made up of family and friends, who help to keep Fromies fed and happy. “Our weekend driver is Jess, Dom’s sister. Dom’s brother Danny, and his partner Harmony, help us too. Our friend Demelza is just generally always around keeping our energy on point and our friend David (Mole) is the Burrito Boi handyman who fixes everything we break (a lot of stuff!)” When talking to Alex & Dom, it became clear that they are as mad about football as they are about good food, which is why Burrito Boi sponsored the Frome FC vs Yeovil FC game recently. “On a Sunday you’ll often catch us with our phones turned off, enjoying a pint of Guinness and watching football for the whole day straight. Now the weather’s turned, our interests have very much changed to staying inside, resting and recharging ready for another busy week, feeding Frome!”. And feeding Frome has been more rewarding than they ever imagined. “The people of Photography: Ed Schofield @edschofieldphoto
Frome have been so supportive; always sharing photos of our food, writing kind reviews and spreading the word for us. Proper kindness. We couldn’t have asked for a better town to do this in and really think that starting in Frome has made a huge difference to where our business could be in 10 years – It’s put us on a high from the beginning and the only way from here is up.”
To order from Burrito Boi, for delivery or collection Wednesday – Saturday, 5pm – 9pm, you can message them via social media: @burritoboifrome @burritoboifrome or text 07964 277161
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The Lockdown Limner* M i n i atu r e M as te r p i ec es
Bloomsbury in November, with all royalties going to A snapshot of ourbylives in 2020. ‘NHS Charities Together’. Commission your own original lockdown oil painting at lockdownlimner.co.uk “It’s been a challenging year for most of us, and especially
hen lockdown was announced on March 23rd, everything seemed to grind to a halt. Finding it increasingly hard to concentrate on work and ignore news bulletins, Frome artist Sarah Godsill decided to use the unsettling circumstances as a way to connect with friends and family by asking them for photographs of themselves, in their most typical lockdown activity, for a painting.
“I started to envisage a Zoom screen full of everyone’s images. I didn’t know how many photos there would be and I had originally planned to do individual paintings, but on a practical level it was easier to grid a canvas and add the images as they were sent to me.” The painting shows people at work and play, round the table, cooking, reading, gardening, getting out for walks or stuck at computer screens. They come from all over the UK, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile, Venezuela and Singapore. “As I worked on each individual image it was comforting to think about the people represented, whether they were far away geographically or just around the corner here in Frome. We couldn’t meet in person and hug - we still don’t know when that will be possible - so it was a lovely way to feel a bit of a connection with everyone.”
difficult for those who have been affected by Covid19 or are shielding or caring for vulnerable people, but it’s also highlighted the most valuable things in life and all that we’re grateful for. The incredible weather made it more manageable in the first few months, and that really stood out in lots of the photos I received; I never used green in my paintings before this year.” Once the painting was almost completed, Sarah started posting the 64 images on her Instagram page, and the positive response made her wonder whether it was something she could offer whilst her work as an events illustrator is on hold. “My work drawing at weddings isn’t a possibility for the foreseeable future, but I’m still keen to record people’s special moments from photographs at least, whether it’s a significant event or a positive memory from this strange year.” The result is ‘The Lockdown Limner’ (‘limn’ being an archaic word for a painting), a temporary website where you can send your favourite photo and commission a postcard-sized oil painting for the special lockdown price of £100 inc P&P.
The resulting painting of ‘Lockdown Limns’ has been Oil on paper, 7×5” accepted for the Bath Society of Artists’ annual open exhibition at the Victoria ArtSpecial Gallery inlockdown Bath, which price – £100 inc P&P @lockdownlimner opens online on November 2nd. During this time, Sarah www.lockdownlimner.co.uk also painted five ‘Portraits for NHS Heroes’, one of which www.eventsillustration.co.uk * limner | ˈlɪmnə |noun archaic will appear inespecially a book of the name or to be published a painter, ofsame portraits miniatures. 12
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Printmaking classes & open access membership available at Bat Print Studio, Silk Mill, Frome , BA11 1PT www.batprintstudio.com
SW Plumbing ISOBEL LAKIN PET PORTRAITS Commissions are now being taken for christmas Prices for acrylic pet portraits start at £120. For more infomation please email email@example.com
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Online mentoring with Helen Moore A unique creative writing journey into deeper Nature connection
Would you like to develop a co-creative writing practice inspired by the natural world & your wild self?
I offer regular mentoring through my Wild Ways to Writing programme to enhance your creative expression, expand your sense of self...
£35: Follow-up session. Afterwards you may opt to embark on the full creative journey (12 assignments) at your own regular pace.
and develop more resilient ways of relating with the Earth at this time of planetary crisis.
Our shared commitment
£15: Our initial consultation. You’ll receive writing guidelines and your first taster assignment.
£380: Advance discount 12 session sign-up. Or pay for each session at the full rate of £35.
Helen Moore is an internationally acclaimed,
award-winning British ecopoet. essayist & short fiction writer.
Work with me at your own pace, through weekly, fortnightly or monthly sessions following my programme of original assignments.
She is also a socially engaged artist & outdoor educator based in Somerset. She has taught poetry and creative writing for many years, both in groups, on retreats and through 1:1 mentoring.
I offer themed resources, short extracts and prompts to inspire your outdoor explorations and writing. You’ll commit to giving at least 3 hours creative focus to each assignment. I’ll then provide constructive feedback by video call and email.
For more details or to arrange an initial consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Christmas in Frome Li g ht s a n d l a nte r n s fr o m h o m e
beautiful DIY lanterns. These will then be placed in front windows and gardens to create a special lantern trail around the town for everyone to enjoy from a distance. Mayor of Frome Anita Collier said, “As I’m sure everyone understands, the safety of our residents and any visitors is our number one priority, this is why we are unable to gather together in the Market Place as we normally would. But Christmas is most definitely not cancelled, and together we can still make sure Frome brings light and cheer to our streets and I do hope you’ll be able to join me online with our virtual Christmas tree light switch-on.”
ne of the highlights of the Frome calendar is the Christmas tree light switch-on accompanied by the Light the Night lantern parade. In previous years it’s always been a wonderful way for the town to come together to kick off the festive season. Although this year we are unable to have some of our traditional festivities, Frome Town Council are making sure Christmas comes to town while ensuring that residents are able to stay safe. Frome centre will still get its annual festive makeover ready to welcome visitors and residents for all their Christmas shopping needs. The Christmas tree lights will be switched on by the Mayor of Frome at 6pm on Sunday 29th November and, as we’re unable to gather around the tree this year, this will be live streamed so everyone can enjoy the event from the warmth and comfort of their own homes. And because it just wouldn’t be Christmas in Frome without the lanterns, the brilliant team at Light the Night are supporting the community to create
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Light the Night are running a variety of online workshops for the whole community to take part in, from advice sessions for beginners who’ve not made a lantern before and family sessions to get the kids involved, to more advanced sessions to help the crafty get even more creative. The workshops will continue until 6th November. You can purchase DIY Lantern Kits from Discover Frome Information Point and the Share Shop. Aliss from the Light the Night team said, “We’re sad not to have the face-to-face community workshops but instead will offer some live online workshops, plus tutorials with instructions for you to follow in your own time. We’ll even be having a pop-up stall in the Share Shop where you can make an appointment to come and ask us questions. We’re looking forward to seeing all the homes in Frome light up with lanterns, fairy lights and all sorts of decorations – let’s get creative!”
The Light the Night Lantern Trail will take place on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th November from 5 – 8pm. Details about the online tutorials and workshops can be found here: www.fromelanterns.co.uk Details on where to view the virtual Christmas tree light switch- will be available soon, watch this space.
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BLACK SWAN ARTS
Frome’s Arts Centre
Black Swan Studio Shops Black Swan Arts has three resident makers in it’s Studio Shops; Jo Joof Designs, Badger House Leather and Daniel Musselwhite Jewellery. For independent makers it’s been a challenging time. Many have fallen through the net of financial support and usual sales opportunities have reduced considerably. “What is hopeful, however, is the opportunity to really embrace doing things locally. I’ve been so grateful for the support of returning customers who have come back for commissions or repairs time and time again.
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This kind of support is pretty remarkable and I think says a lot about our local community.” Liz Huband of Badger House Leather. Jo Joof Designs Studio Shop 1: Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 2.30pm. Saturday and most school holidays and market days, 10am - 4pm Badger House Leather, Studio Shop 2: Wed - Sat, 10am - 4pm Dan Musselwhite Jewellery Studio Shop 3:, Tues Sat, 10am - 4pm, except Wed, 12 - 4pm
Makers Market Sunday 15th November 10am - 4pm Black Swan Arts will be hosting a socially distanced market, taking over the entire ground floor of the arts centre and creating a safe event where makers and creators can showcase their work and customers can shop locally, buying directly from talented artists and makers.
Small & Affordable Fundraising exhibition 20 November 2020 – January 2021 Like many arts organisations, Black Swan Arts has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With no regular funding the arts centre relies heavily on volunteers and supporters. To ensure that they have the resources to continue supporting the arts in Somerset, as they have for the past 30 years, Black Swan Arts are asking their loyal and talented artists and friends to donate artwork to their fundraising show ‘Small & Affordable’. Work is welcomed from any medium, 2D or 3D. Pieces should be no larger than 30 x 30 x 30 cm and have a recommended selling price of £300 or less. The work is intended to be affordable in recognition of the fact that many people are struggling financially. You can submit your artwork donation online at blackswanarts.org.uk by Midnight November 8th.
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Night Before Christmas pop and slot advent calendar The Golden Goose £11.75
Garden Trading Ithaca Ceramic Range Matthew Paul Interiors £12-£45 Small Swooping Swallow Hook Earrings Marchbank Jewellery 3 1£ 8
The Lost Spells by Robert MacFarlane
festive Gifts & Goodies
and Jackie Morris Hunting Raven Books £14.99
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Rocks Stacking Ring Christina Oswin Jewellery, From £70
‘Large Hill Near Longleat’ linocut by Chris Pig The WHY Gallery £130 framed, £95 unframed Retribution Navy Strength Gin retributiondistilling.co.uk £42
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GIFTS • CARDS • TOYS • INTERIORS
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100% Eco lambs wool blanket The Golden Goose £77
Jo & Nic’s Crinkly Cloth Books, Jo Joof at Black Swan Studios £12
Secret Message Pendant Christina Oswin Jewellery £150
Wash bags Badger House
festive Gifts & Goodies S h o p Lo ca l
Leather at Black Swan Studios £65.00 Cloud bangle, Sterling silver and 9ct yellow gold £185 Daniel Musselwhite at Black Swan Studios
Cherry stone thermal pillow by Warmlii What Are Little Girls Made Of? Nursery Rhymes for Feminist Times By Jeanne Willis and Isabelle Follath Hunting Raven books £9.99
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The WHY Gallery £15- £25
For all your Jewellery Commissions, Repairs and Valuations 6 Cheap Street Frome, BA11 1BN 01373 455332 www.marchbankjewellery.com
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TH ELI S TFR O M E
Artists Of Frome with pa i nte r a n d i llu s tr ato r Vi cto r ia B a ll
What is your artistic background?
I took a foundation in Art and Design at Cheltenham College of Higher Education and then went on to take a BA Hons in Illustration at Falmouth College of Art. What made you follow this path?
As far as I can remember it’s all I ever wanted to do; much of my childhood was spent drawing or making things. Luckily my parents were very supportive and felt the importance of focussing your life on something that you enjoy. It seemed like a natural progression to go to art school. What is your physical creative
What inspires your work?
process? What materials and
Being outdoors here in Somerset, the Cotswolds, where I grew up and also the Dorset coast, where we spend a lot of time as a family. I like to look for interesting shapes within the landscape. I love big skies and rolling, vast views. I find it amazing that the same place can look so different depending on the weather or the light and time of year.
techniques do you use?
I am an illustrator as well as being a painter, and much of my time is spent at a computer working on digital illustrations, so painting for me is a huge release. I work mostly in acrylics on gessoed wood panels, starting off with lots of gestural marks and texture, using reference photos and sketches that I’ve made of the landscape that I’m working on. I then gradually work into the painting, blocking areas in and simplifying the shapes. It’s like a push and pull process to find a balance, not only between the colours, but also between the simple, geometric areas and lively bits. I’m always striving to create a sense of calm with these landscapes. 22
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How did lockdown affect the way you work and create?
We had our 4 and 5 year olds at home with us, so time was limited! I squeezed in essential work where I could and spent the rest of the time with them. I always seem to feel even more inspired to paint when I’m unable to physically produce work. It was frustrating at times, but I just made a mental
“I’m always striving to create a sense of calm with these landscapes.”
note of the pieces I wanted to work on once things returned to normal. Having said that, I am grateful for the time we were all able to spend together in the lockdown summer.
If you hadn’t become an artist, what
Where do you work from? Tell us
How do you find Frome, in terms of
about your studio.
creativity and artistic community?
I work from home in what was once the old kitchen. It’s a small space with an easel at one end and my illustration desk at the other. It’s my little sanctuary. What is your favourite place to be
would you have done?
I would have still pursued something creative, maybe as an interior designer.
Frome is such a brilliantly creative town, full of artists, designers and makers. What strikes me most is how supportive people are of one another; there is a great sense of community here. It feels like you’re part of something quite special, living and working here.
for artistic inspiration?
I love visiting the Tate St Ives, I always find inspiration there. The post war modern art collections are very inspiring. There were some incredible female abstract artists making really important work in that era. Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge, home of Jim and Helen Ede, is another place that never fails to inspire me, it’s full of the most beautiful objects and artwork. What artists inspire you, and why?
There are so many, Nicolas de Stael, Ben Nicholson, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, especially her work during the 50’s, where she was focussing on geometric principles and the use of the golden section. There is a particular Kyffin Williams painting that is often in my mind, too, of a sunset, in Anglesey I think. Unlike much of his other work it feels quite abstract, with 3 strips of grey and then this vivid, light cadmium red sun that pops, it’s beautiful and I often think about it when I’m painting. Then there are artists like Stanhope Forbes, for the brushwork. His ‘Beach Scene, St Ives’ is a favourite. It’s a tiny unassuming painting in the permanent collection at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. I love the composition of it so much.
Are there any artistic processes/ disciplines which you haven’t worked in/with, but would like to?
I’m always up for trying out different materials, using inks and mixing mediums, but I think painting is definitely what I’m drawn to most. How can people see and buy your work?
Artworks and upcoming shows can be seen here www.victoriajball.com. Various prints and original paintings are also available, both online and in the gallery at Kobi and Teal, Frome.
You can follow Victoria on Instagram, For painting @victoria_ j_ball and for illustration @victoriaball_
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Artists of Fro me 23
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Mutton and Quince 1kg scrag end of mutton or lamb, trimmed of excess fat 2 tbsp olive oil 2 stalks of celery, chopped 1 onion, chopped 1 leek, sliced 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Cook & Eat Recipes from our resident Foodie Laura Coate
My obsession with quince began a decade and a half ago. At the time, I lived in Nottingham, and near to my flat there was a vast and - to me - heart flutteringly exotic Turkish grocery shop. There would be boxes of these yellow, furred fruits surrounding the entrance to the store, and the perfume, which would cloak you upon stepping through the doorway, was just heavenly. A few years later, when my parents were planning their tiny orchard, I begged them for a quince tree. Despite 2020 having been despicably rubbish for so many reasons, it has, however, yielded our largest crop of quince to date and for that I am grateful. My excitement for quince tends to go hand-in-hand with my excitement for festive preparation, as I work them into most of my culinary Christmas traditions: Christmas pudding, mincemeat and brandy. This year, I have enough to sneak them into savoury suppers too. 26
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Fo o d W it h Fo l k R e c i p e
1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp ground ginger 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 small stick of cinnamon A bunch of coriander 3 tbsp pearl barley 1l stock (lamb or chicken) or water Salt 2 quince, cored (but not peeled) and each cut into 6 segments 1-2 tbsp honey Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the chopped vegetables and garlic, and sweat them over medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened. Grind the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and add these to the vegetables, along with the ginger, cayenne and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for a further minute or two. Roughly chop the stalks from the bunch of coriander and add these to the pan, followed by the mutton or lamb. (At this point, you may need to transfer to a larger casserole.) Stir, so the mutton or lamb is coated in the vegetables and spices, and season with salt as you go. Add enough stock or water to cover the meat and add the pearl barley. Bring gently to a simmer, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface of the liquid and place a lid on the casserole. Cook very, very gently for around 2 hours (or in a very low oven - around 120ËšC)
for about 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is tender and pulls away easily from the bone. Add the quince to the pot an hour before the cooking time is up. Once the mutton or lamb is completely tender, gently remove the pieces of meat and quince and set them aside. You may want to skim some of the fat off the liquid, as it’s likely to be a tad excessive, and then taste it to see if it needs reducing to concentrate the flavours. Once you’re happy, add any seasoning and honey to taste (to rebalance the astringent properties of the quince) and return the meat back to the liquid. Serve with chopped coriander.
To follow Laura, and get more tasty recipe ideas, go to @foodwithfolk
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BONFIRE NIGHT Th e Fr o m e Fo s s i l
t’s one of those gin-clear evenings in early winter. Dusk is thickening very slowly, and the sky fades from turquoise to electric blue to a soft velvet black. Occasionally, a great blast of wind from the west scurries past, hooshing the bonfire into action and scattering the smoke away over the fields. But mostly the fire ticks along peaceably, giving out a few crackles deep in the mound of briar rose and apple and yew and hazel and ivy prunings. The smoke creeps out, sometimes towering straight up in the air and sometimes billowing about in confusion. I could watch all this for hours. And I do. Leaning on my fork as the last of the sunlight disappears around me, I study the fire and listen to the blackbirds riffing away and to two tawny owls hooting slightly testily at each other down the valley. A stray goose honks desolately overhead as it tries to catch up with its flock. The tractor and spreader thunder past in the lane, still at their Sisyphean task of drowning the fields and verges in slurry. Then the last glints of sunlight vanish, and Venus appears over our house. Meanwhile the pile clicks and hisses and flares and shifts and billows. From time to time I fuss about, forking unburned strays of twig and bramble back onto the top. But mostly I stare. You can’t hurry a bonfire. Well you can, I suppose, if you chuck petrol on top and wait for the sheet of flame to roar out. However, this not only endangers your eyebrows and leaves a nasty whiff of fossil fuel – it’s also against the whole magical spirit of the enterprise. A bit like adding Ribena to cider. Next morning, it’s still plugging on. The embers have patiently digested and reduced the mighty
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T h e F r o m e Fo s s i l
mound to a tiny extinct volcano of ash and scorched fragments. In the pale light of day it looks rather pathetic. I rake it around and the whole thing disappears into the soil. All that’s left is a blackened patch and a few wisps of grey dust circling up. But for days afterwards the delicious scent of woodsmoke clings to my shirt and trousers and hair. Then they all get a good wash and I can look forward to next year’s bonfire.
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For further information: 01373 888 303 acornpropertygroup.org email@example.com An Acorn Property Group led development in conjunction with London & County. Computer generated images for illustrative purposes only. Prices correct at time of print.
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