Author: Nathan Akrill

ExLab (Exploratory Laboratory) opened its doors at seven locations across Dorset on 28th July. Five artists were commissioned to make work that merges art with science and responds to the Jurassic Coast.

ExLab is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.

ExLab is making quite a mark on the Dorset arts landscape – by rubbing shoulders with geologists, archaeologists and cultural geographers, it has captured the imagination of many. Discover contemporary art in several towns and villages around the county – Sherborne, Wimborne, Portland, Langton Matravers, Bournemouth, Durlston (nr. Swanage) and Burton Bradstock. Art can be seen in barns and on beaches, heard in towers and galleries. This geographic spread takes a bit of getting around, so we’ve worked with Discover Dorset to develop some ‘coach tours with a twist’. On 28th August, join us on a coach to visit BNSS in Bournemouth to view a film by Mat Chivers – then on to Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne to view work by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom – then on to Sherborne to see unique paintings by Simon Callery. The return trip takes in a few landscape surprises and goes to Portland Bill to see Simon Ryder’s work in the newly built Coastwatch Training Centre, before returning to Bournemouth.

If you prefer to take in a few artworks on a coastal route, join the b-side and ExLab special ‘finale’ coach tour. That’s on Sunday 9th September, our last day of opening, and will take in the newly refurbished Durlston Castle to hear a soundwork by Zachary Eastwood-Bloom, then over to Spyway Barn in Langton Matravers to see Mat Chiver’s film installed in this beautiful listed building. We then go to Portland to see the work by Simon Ryder, which is a joint commission between b-side and ExLab. End the day exploring b-side works in Portland before heading back to Bournemouth.

Each trip costs only £20 per head – a bargain for a day accompanied by arts and geology specialists! Bring your own packed lunch, or buy something at one of the locations, the choice is yours. To book, visit Discover Dorset website www.discoverdorset.co.uk or visit www.exlab.org to see more information.

We also have field trips with artists coming up soon.

21st August with Mat Chivers – in the morning come to an artists talk at BNSS and in the afternoon meet a National Trust representative at the Square and Compass, Worth Matravers, walk to Spyway Barn in Langton Matravers to meet the artist and ExLab producer Carolyn Black, then walk back along the coast via Dancing Ledge to hear more about what inspired Mat’s film ‘Overlay.

5th September join Simon Ryder at Coastwatch, Portland Bill and join him on a walk around Portland to visit people and places that informed his work ‘A Natural History of Pseudomorphs’. On the 9th September we hope to have an artists talk too.

On the 6th September Simon Callery invites you to do the same in Sherborne, this time exploring how the inland geology is both similar and different to the more familiar coastal landscape. ‘Inland Sealand’ offers a fascinating understanding of local geology.

Later in September join Zachary Eastwood-Bloom at Durlston – 15th September,  walk with a ranger and attend an artist talk and live music and on 16th September come to a family workshop.

All field trips are free – for further information and to book, see www.exlab.org

 

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