The Sarum Artists are a diverse group of artists from the Wessex region and have been working with The Salisbury Museum to celebrate the re-housing of their unique archaeology collection with a new temporary exhibition. ‘Conversations with Collections’ will open on Saturday 11 July, exactly a year to the day since the Grand Opening of the world-class Wessex Gallery.
Chiming with the Museum’s policy of supporting local artists and inviting new interpretations of the collections, this exhibition offers a compelling insight exploring a modern artist’s response to the artistry and vision of their Wessex ancestors.
Sarum Artists, all former Fine Art students from Wiltshire College, was founded in 2006. The group meets once a month to share news, discuss work-in-progress and to arrange exhibitions. In December 2013, they approached the Museum with the idea of working with the collections. This was a key time in the re-development of the Museum and the perfect opportunity to focus on celebrating the new Wessex Gallery. At the time, the archaeological collection was in temporary storage, as its own, purpose-built gallery neared completion. The Sarum Artists are the first group to respond to the new displays.
Artists and Museum staff have worked closely from the start, from discussions of the initial proposals, through preparatory ideas to the final selection and hanging of the work. When the Wessex Gallery opened, each artist chose their own inspiration from over 2,000 objects. Adrian Green, the Director, gave the artists tours of the gallery and behind the scenes access, where they had opportunities to handle some of the items such as arrowheads and pots - one-time objects of daily life. The artists were also able to visit freely, sketching and making notes.
Come and see the eloquent artistic results of the conversations upstairs in the Small Exhibitions Gallery and also in the Wessex Gallery Temporary Showcase.