Our Place in the Seven Heavens is waiting for you!

Our Place in the Seven Heavens is waiting for you!

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We previously spoke to Becky Nuttall and Jacob Brandon about a new collaborative exhibition at Artizan Gallery, called Our Place in the Seven Heavens. After receiving submissions from across Torbay, the exhibition is now open and ready for your viewing pleasure.

Our Place in the Seven Heavens, sees local artist and poet Becky Nuttall collaborate with Artizan Gallery to reach out to the people across Torbay and to take a closer look at the place they call home.

“Medieval cosmologists saw the planets as the 'seven heavens'. Referencing the The Planets in Torre Abbey, the imagery of the moon above the Bay and our Geopark landscape, I want people to reflect on what makes our place, Torbay, unique to them in the Seven Heavens.

I visited Torre Abbey years ago and saw the Holman Hunt painting called The Children's Holiday. I have studied the Pre Raphaelites at certain times in my academic and art career and seen their work in London, Manchester and Liverpool without knowing that we have several works in Torbay including Burne-Jones' Pre Raphaelite cartoons for stained glass windows of The Planets. These are beautiful drawings of the solar system using romantic and symbolic imagery.

I wanted to bring together the artistic imagery of the solar system in the cartoons, the poetic imagery of Emily Dickinson's poem The Moon is Distant from the Sea and root those concepts in our local landscape; how the moon pulls the tides; how the tides form our Geopark coast and how the community feel about the unique landscape we live in. It's a broad concept open to any interpretation, rooted in an emotional response about home, environment and the universe. Everyone has a special place in the coastal landscape of Torbay, mine is Mansands Beach in Brixham.

I have curated three exhibitions since 2016 in Torbay. One of those was for Artizan Gallery last year. Artizan had a free month and asked if I had an idea for an exhibition. It seemed fitting to commemorate the 100 years since WW1 Armistice and women's suffrage. It was a collaboration of poets and artists called We are Making a New World from the war artist Paul Nash's painting of a WW1 battlefield. I found the exhibition profoundly moving and the standard of submissions was exceptional for Torbay. I asked Jacob and Julie if they would consider allowing me to curate a collaboration of poets and artists again in 2019. Local poet Robert Garnham will help select the submissions.” - Becky Nuttall, Artist & Poet.

The resulting exhibition sees written submissions alongside visual art from local artists and a unique performance piece from co-producer Robert Garnham and violinist Sharron Hubbocks. The pair go down a path that leads to family, memory, history, the moon and the Australian outback.

“It’s great to be working with Becky again. In October last year we hosted her exhibition for the Armistice 100 commemorations, ‘We Are Making a New World’, and it was one of our best received shows, despite presenting some exceptionally challenging imagery to audiences. It shows us that there’s space in Torbay for engaging programming that wants to take audiences that little bit further and we’re delighted to be able to make it a central part of our calendar.” - Jacob Brandon, Artizan Gallery.


Our Place in the Seven Heavens exhibition explores the stories or Torbay while coinciding with the annual Global Geopark Festival which celebrates the English Riviera’s mind-blowing geological features from 25 May to 2 June 2019. Free to attend.

Don’t miss Robert Graham’s “The Moon Wrapped in String” performance on the evening of the 23rd May; it’s sure to great! For more information, visit www.artizangallery.co.uk.

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