Creative Wiltshire, Chippenham Museum’s first exhibition in its newly opened gallery space, features the work of many influential artists who moved to North Wiltshire during the 20th century. Open until 17 March 2018 and free to visit, the exhibition features works by well-known artists such as Howard Hodgkin and Robin Tanner displayed alongside examples of pottery and silver produced in the local area.
The majority of works on display have been acquired as a result of the Creative Wiltshire project, which is collecting and celebrating the work of the county’s creative people. The project is run by the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, in partnership with Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and other participating museums, archives and local studies libraries to widen collections and ensure that creativity is better represented.
Nearly all artists featured in the exhibition relocated to North Wiltshire during the 20th century for work, study or a simpler life. For them the area provided new inspiration for their creativity, producing artwork directly responding to the local landscape.
A highlight of the Creative Wiltshire exhibition is newly acquired painting Studio Interior with Nude by William Brooker. Chippenham Museum purchased the painting with the support of Art Fund and Arts Council England/Victoria and Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund. Further funding was also given by the Heritage Lottery Fund Creative Wiltshire Project.
Brooker painted the work in 1953 whilst teaching at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham Court. The school attracted some of the most important names in post-war British Art to teach and study at Corsham. The painting is believed to show the interior of the painting studio where many of them would have worked.
Creative Wiltshire will be the first exhibition in Chippenham Museum’s new temporary exhibition space and marks the launch of an exciting new exhibition programme accompanied by a series of associated talks, activities and events.
Supported using £48,000 of public funding by Arts Council England, the exhibition space will allow the museum to develop bigger and better exhibitions, borrow amazing objects from National Museums such as the British Museum and the V&A and tell more of the fascinating stories that make Chippenham and surrounding villages so special.
Chippenham Museum is run by Chippenham Town Council and tells the story of the people and history of Chippenham and the surrounding villages from prehistoric times up until the present day. The museum, located in the Market Place, is free to explore and open Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm.
The museum’s Creative Wiltshire exhibition is open from 20 November 2017 to 17 March 2018.