Author: Nathan Akrill


In the first year of its presence at the Fossil Festival, the Jurassic Coast Arts Programme has two objectives.  The first is to support the creative activity that takes place at the event, and the second is to give a platform for all the other related creative activity that is taking place up and down the length of the World Heritage Site around the same time.

We have been working with the Lyme Regis Development Trust on several projects which will feed into the first objective including Herbie Treehead’s Jurassic Underworld, a new show developed by this fantastic clown which re-creates what the world might have been like around Lyme Regis 180 million years ago; and Forkbeard Fantasy’s Jurassic Coast Discovery Box, a treasure chest full of fun and facts for all the family which will entertain and amaze.  Forkbeard Fantasy are also going to do some live shows, so look out for them at the Marine Theatre.

There are also many related activities and events taking place up and down the coast.  We hope to see you somewhere along the way:

Here Now Universal Value show. Budleigh Salterton west beach, 29th April at sunset,
Artist Charlie Morrissey builds on his first piece at West Bay last September, and works with the community around Budleigh Salterton and dance groups across Devon to celebrate International Day of Dance.  The piece, inspired by the question ‘what does Outstanding Universal Value mean in the context of our World Heritage Site?’ is a comment on human presence as “inconceivably brief in the scale of geologic time, our time as visitors, guests watched over indifferently by the land”.  The work will combine live movement and projection and includes a specially commissioned soundtrack.

Rocks: from axe heads to Zennor Head Bridport Art Centre, 2nd May – 6th June
The exhibition is drawn from the collection of Portland artist Judith Frost. Over many years, Judith has brought together a disparate and idiosyncratic group of objects, ranging from ancient stone tools to contemporary art, all of which demonstrates the impact made by human action on stone. Her fascination with rock stems from her situation – her studio is close to the sea in Portland – and her realisation some time ago that, as she puts it,  “the rock beneath my feet was moving and the world was not as stable and secure as I had assumed”.

Exmouth Festival Across Exmouth, 23rd – 29th May
More information to follow when I get access to the internet again!

Mapping the Jurassic Coast Dorset County Museum, 9th May – 27th June
Artists Amanda Wallwork and Jeremy Gardiner create and exhibit their work mapping the Jurassic Coast through its geology and archaeology.  Investigating the landscape through its natural and human influenced history, both artists view their work as a form of map charting journeys in time as well as place.  Working in partnership with the Dorset County Museum the artists will use the museum’s extensive collections and archive to undertake a period of research to inform the creation of a new body of work following two paths in time through the archaeological and geological layers of history imprinted on the earth. This is the initial exhibition of first stage work, which will be subsequently developed and presented as a national touring exhibition.

MEMO project Festival Portland, 22nd – 25th May
MEMO (Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory) is an extraordinary project to create a truly global monument to the species being lost, now and ongoing, in the Earth’s sixth mass extinction. Memorials mark a life well lived or tragically ended – in either case they are about reflection. We are seeking to build something that is the ultimate vehicle of reflection: a living monument to the fragility of life, the razor blade of existence we all live on. But this project has optimism too. At the same time that scientists have been warning of damage to biodiversity, they are also, increasingly shaping an image of life on Earth as a glittering web of interconnection embracing the globe. The hope lies in celebrating the ways we are connected to other species as well as learning from the reasons for the tragic severance of such connections in extinction. MEMO will stand as a testament to the hope that our actions can also have influence.

PLUS: Purbeck Aware: Catch Herbie Treehead’s show again plus Fossil Dig Trays and a literary landscape and geology walk with the Hardy Society: 6th June, Swanage.

Daisy Sutcliffe , Jurassic Coast Arts Coordinator

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