Looking back … step in stone

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Fiona Campbell looks back over July – October project:

It’s been a very intense and challenging few months. Incredible seeing step in stone through to fruition, and so fulfilling.

Overall, the project was a tremendous success, very well received by an extremely varied and broadly based audience.

Image © Duncan Simey 2017

We were overwhelmed by such a high volume of enthusiastic visitors from the area and further afield, who visited our 6 venues. Through special events (workshops, walks,

Through special events (workshops, walks, talks and performances) we enjoyed engaging a whole spectrum of the public, participants of all ages and interests, including school
children, families and the elderly.

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Image © Duncan Simey 2017

We received massive public support for the project; people were genuinely delighted and inspired by the fusion of sound, art, landscape and wonderful use of unique quarry settings.

The project gained momentum as it progressed in steps to its finale. The final fortnight, tied in with Somerset Art Weeks Festival, was brilliant! Each weekend approximately 300 people visited the magical Fairy Cave Quarry venue alone. Family Day was really special, a huge success, so many enthusiastic children, grown ups and “in-betweeners”.

Each weekend approximately 300 people visited the magical Fairy Cave Quarry venue alone. Family Day was really special, a huge success, so many enthusiastic children, grown ups and “in-betweenies” enjoyed a range of organised activities in the quarry. The 3 Finale venues added fresh impetus, with all 14 artists showing together for the

The 3 Finale venues added fresh impetus, with all 14 artists showing together for the first time in the project at Black Swan Arts. The Black Swan exhibition was a beautiful, strong, inclusive show in a wonderful gallery space, including the Round Tower and Hall (where the young sculpture design entries were on show). It came together naturally in a grid-like structure, echoing the work.

The Preview

It came together naturally in a grid-like structure, echoing the work. The Preview was buzzing and feedback excellent.

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Bron Bradshaw sketching at Westdown Quarry. Photo Duncan Simey

An ambitious project for the budget, with a very small management team, it was incredibly hard work.

I really enjoyed working with
such a fantastic set of high calibre artists, whose work I
admire. All of us explored and developed new areas of our
practice. We had immense support from many quarters: in-kind

We had immense support from many quarters: in-kind
gestures, discounts, people’s time given, technical help, assistance at special events and manning. Partner Nick Weaver helped me enormously throughout and volunteer photographer Duncan Simey was a huge asset. It was highly motivating to have such support. Our legacy includes a

Our legacy includes a documentary filmcatalogues, website, and artwork donated to Somerset Earth Science Centre permanently for educational and recreational
purposes.

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Jack Offord filming Tessa Farmer, Fairy Cave Quarry. Photo © Duncan Simey


Bringing step in stone to fruition is the fulfillment of a dream to have contemporary art exhibited in these enigmatic, spaces in the Mendips.

I have so many people to thank
for this, particularly our funders including Arts CouncilEngland/National Lottery, partners, venues, supporters, visitors and of course, the artists!


Some visitor comments:

“That was my best HOUR of this year”

“In many years of visiting art events, I have never experienced anything as fascinating and inspiring as my visits to quarries today – especially this one.” (Fairy Cave Quarry)

“Had a lovely day with the boys exploring, was great to combine being outdoors with some interesting art..”

“I spent a fascinating afternoon at Halecombe and Westdown/Asham quarries. It was a treat for the senses and a revelation about the environments on
our doorstep. Thank you!”

“Wonderful – best art gallery I’ve ever been to”

“We’re really enjoying the step in stone events and seeing places/quarries never been to before!”

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Sculpture Design Competition Launch at SESC. Photo Duncan Simey

“A hit for all ages”

“What a brilliant, inspirational and unique exhibition in a stunning
setting”

“Love the work in this setting, quite magical in amongst the trees, and thank you to SESC for a warm welcome”

“Ingenious art in a spectacular setting. Do go! Fairy Cave quarry”

“Amazing creativity & lateral thinking. Our family enjoyed a really
interesting ‘exhibition’. A wonderfully different experience.”

“Inspiring and fun – creativity thrived in the kids as a result”

“A wonderfully different experience”

“Like being back in Africa in my village – brilliant! Can’t wait to bring my grandchildren – thank you!”

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Image © Duncan Simey 2017


“Unique and surprising”

“As a geologist (amateur) married to an artist I found the combination of the 2 subjects absolutely fascinating.

Especially loved the sketchbooks, also Catherine’s and Amanda’s
work..”

 


 

This article was written by Fiona Campbell, Artist and Curator of step in stone 2015

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