The whole county begins its annual celebration of visual arts when Somerset Arts Week 2014 opens this weekend. It will run from 20 September to 5 October at 205 venues around the county. Visual artists from every background and discipline will be exhibiting their work in a range of settings from private studios and church halls to more unusual locations such as the West Somerset Railway Station at Bishops Lydeard and farm houses.
One artist whose work will be exhibited at Studio 22, 61 Pear Tree Way, Wellington, is David Struwig. His paintings in oils and acrylic are managed around his ‘day job’ as Co-owner and Director of Kamyko Hair in the High Street. “I paint every Wednesday and Sunday in a room above a garage in Hemyock for 2 or 3 hours, then I need to step away,” he said.
David is entirely self-taught as an artist. He began painting at 14 in his home in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. He “would have loved to have been a professional painter” but was drawn towards hairdressing as a more reliable option, having helped in his sister-in-law’s salon on Saturdays. Before leaving South Africa for London in 2005, he won prestigious awards and titles as a hairdresser. Prior to coming to Wellington he was Creative Director of Elmina salons in Jersey.
His paintings are “mainly landscapes, mostly abstract, derived from imagination and expressing emotions, the time of day, the colour rather than what the subject is. I’m affected by the solitude of a place and the light reflections.” Asked about artists who influence him he said, “Turner at the moment.”
This is the first time David has exhibited his paintings during SAW. They will be shown alongside Di Goring’s land and seascapes and Jan Rimmer’s silk pictures and hand-dyed textiles in Pear Tree Way. “I’ll be there myself on Wednesday and Sunday. I’d like to sell a few pictures because there are only so many I can hang and it would be nice to have room to paint more,” David explained.
Other venues close to Wellington where paintings, prints, drawings, printed textiles and cards by local artists are on display are The Orangery at Nynehead Court, Greenham Barton at Greenham, the Calfpen Gallery at Nowers Farm in Popes Lane, Scarlett’s Garden at the White Post Nursery at Langford Budville and Spring Grove Farm in Spring Grove, Milverton.
SAW is an artist-led, nonprofit organisation dedicated to developing visual arts, drawing communities across the county together, supporting artists and showcasing the diverse range of work that artists are creating throughout Somerset.