We recently held our first exhibition in collaboration with Tasburgh House Hotel in Bath showing predominantly outdoor sculpture and ceramics on their elegant terraces overlooking the city of Bath. Simply ages in the planning, meetings with Tasburgh House started in September before Christmas 2017. The exhibition marked our re-launch as Axle Arts and we very much wanted the message to go out, not only to our existing client base but hopefully to new potential clients and interested parties, that we’re open for business and we have a fantastically talented stable of artists. We’re also testing a new trading model and that includes new ways of exhibiting, experimenting to see if a permanent exhibition space is necessary for a fine art business. We aim to collaborate with like-minded businesses and organisations that share our values and goals, and Tasburgh House is one of our first partners. Collaboration, when pursued with the right intentions, can only strengthen and enhance.
Installing the exhibition was hard work, but without question good fun made more so by generous trays of coffee and moreish chocolate brownies from Tasburgh House. Ollie Adams, my Gallery Manager from Bath Contemporary, was kind enough to come and help us, lending his expert eye and deft skill with a hammer to hang the painting and print inside the hotel. The correct hanging height of a painting is an underestimated quality…!
Monday morning and the ceramics started to arrive before the chill had even burnt off the day, with Mick Morgan and Tamsyn Trevorrow arriving first followed swiftly by Rhian Jones. Tuesday saw the bronze and steel sculpture arrive and Wednesday was spent labelling and what I refer to as ‘polishing’ the show, both indoors and outdoors.
The private view day dawned clear and by late evening, golden sunshine stretched long, warm fingers across the terraces, and the views over the valley towards the city of Bath were exhilarating and clear. The sculpture looked dramatic in the setting, each and every piece interacting with its surroundings whether nestled amidst bushes or cutting a line against a periwinkle-blue sky. Dramatic merged with quiet stillness and the walk through the exhibition and across the terraces became a journey.
Waiters dressed in crisp white shirts and black aprons waited to hand guests a glass of chilled prosecco as they arrived and trays of delicious canapes circulated. Chef Anatonia spoilt us with shot glasses of minted pea soup to start off with, building eventually to tempura prawns and baby packets of fish and chips with tartare sauce.
Ten days passed in a flash and before we knew it, we were taking the show down. Meetings are being had now with assessments of what we did well and what we can do to improve on the next exhibition. We are discussing further collaborations with Tasburgh House, events and timings yet to be agreed and announced.
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