The Essex Summer of Art

It’s official – we are now in Summer. Yesterday the Essex Summer of Art launched their season of events. This year there are 38 art trails across the county for you to explore, featuring painting, printmaking, sculpture, glass, photography and more. There is so much on offer and all for free so I really recommend visiting as many as you can.

Here at Slamseys we were extra excited because the launch party was happening in our very own Barley Barn on the farm.  I’ve spent the last couple of weeks installing giant insects made from reclaimed metal by local artist Graham Thrussell. We’ve placed his fantastic art onto tractor tyres, pallet plinths and tree trunks and I have to say that it looks absolutely brilliant!

Graham Thrussell at Slamseys Art Month
Graham Thrussell at Slamseys Art Month

In the main barn we have an exhibition called AFTERLIFE, the headline artist is Gillian Allard from Suffolk, with her intriguing photographs of animals once they have passed away. She has a brilliant use of light throughout the series and gives each creature a dignity in death. For the launch yesterday we were treated to a video installation detailing a fox decomposing over a three week period – it wasn’t for the squeamish, but was a fantastic display of nature at work.

'AFTERLIFE' Gillian Allard at Slamseys Art
‘AFTERLIFE’ Gillian Allard at Slamseys Art

After a slight hiccup with our taxidermy exhibits, I am really grateful to the John Ray Gallery at our local Braintree District Museum, for loaning us some fabulous taxidermy specimens as well as a deer and fox skull replica. Dunmow based artist Edward Norman (whose mammoth canvas is on permanent display in the barn) also came up trumps with several small cabinets of curiosity on very short notice, which make an excellent addition to our display.

The exhibition and sculpture trail as part of the Slamseys Art Month are open Thursdays-Saturdays 10:00-16:00 until the 27 June. We also have a special event on Sunday for the national Open Farm events – more to follow on that one.

If you like the unusual, the intriguing and the wonderful, then please come and say hi and make your way along our art trail.

For more information about the Essex Summer of Art, have a look at  VisitEssex.

Hope to see you at Slamseys soon!

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