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AUTUMN ART EXHIBITION: Wessex Places:
Saturday, 31 October, 2015

AUTUMN ART EXHIBITION: Wessex Places:

Landscape drawings and prints by David Inshaw, Dave Gunning, Rob Pountney and Ray Ward. This exhibition opens in the Museum's Art Gallery on 31 October 2015 and runs until 2nd January 2016.

David Inshaw leapt to public attention in 1973 when his painting The Badminton Game was exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts summer studio exhibition in London. The painting was subsequently acquired by the Tate Gallery and is one of several paintings from the 1970s that won him critical acclaim and a wide audience.

David studied at Beckenham School of Art from 1959 and the Royal Academy Schools in 1963. A teaching post at the West of England College of Art in 1966 was followed by a two year fellowship in creative art at Trinity College Cambridge in 1975.

David moved to Devizes in 1971 and formed the Broadheath Brotherhood with Graham and Ann Arnold the following year. The three artists were joined by Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, and Graham and Annie Ovenden in 1975, when the group was renamed the Brotherhood of Ruralists. The Ruralists exhibited together for the first time at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1976, and Inshaw left the group seven years later in 1983. He moved to Clyro near Hay-on-Wye in 1989, but returned to Devizes in 1995, where he still lives today.

Inshaw's paintings are mainly large oils, etchings and drawings. They are held in many private and public collections, including the Arts Council of Great Britain, Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, the British Council, the Royal West of England Academy, Tate Britain and Wiltshire Museum, Devizes.

A major book on David Inshaw's life and work was published in 2010 and he was made an honorary Doctor of Letters by Durham University in 2012. An exhibition of new paintings was held at the Fine Art Society in London in 2013, with a second sell-out exhibition this year, to coincide with a new and updated edition of Andrew Lambirth's book, David Inshaw: Between Fantasy and Reality.

Dave Gunning was born in 1954 and he has been a practicing 'fine artist' for more than forty years.

In 1996 he was commissioned by The Area Museum for the South West of England to record, out on site, all the major ancient sites from the Scillies in the west to Stonehenge in the east. The National Museum of Wales followed with a similar assignment to produce work about their ancient heritage. Work has since been commissioned and purchased by the Palace of Westminster and Dave has 110 small megalithic etchings in the Royal Collection at Windsor. He also has work in many private and public collections.
Dave now lives, works and has created his own private family gallery in Ironbridge, Shropshire.

I am continually astounded by the energy and spiritual presence found when working out on site, drawing the many ancient monuments built in Great Britain.

Stonehenge, Avebury and the other major sites found in Wiltshire have captivated and fascinated me throughout my lifetime. This new set of work, on display at Wiltshire Museum, reflects my continued passion and admiration for the megalithic builders who have left us such a magical heritage to reflect upon.


Rob Pountney’s interest in Wessex grew during his study of fine art painting and later doctoral research in English Literature; in particular, Thomas Hardy's verbal-visual representation of the Wessex landscape.

He has exhibited drawings in private and public galleries and held solo exhibitions in Dorset County Museum; Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum. More recently, his drawings were shown in these Museums as part of a group exhibition, featuring the artists Dave Gunning and David Inshaw, entitled 'Landscapes of Thomas Hardy's Wessex'.

Rob’s work is in public collections including Dorset County Museum, Wiltshire Museum, Yorkshire Arts Association and Bedfordshire Education Authority, as well as private national and international collections. He has also contributed published articles to The Thomas Hardy Society Journal.

My landscape art reflects my abiding interest in the South of England Wessex region and its rich array of natural, historical and archaeological features.

Much of my work focuses on diverse aspects of the Dorset landscape. Downlands, heaths, river valleys, earthworks and barrows speak of time and contain visual paradoxes formed by constantly shifting perspectives between old and new, durability and instability, life and death.

The predominant use of chiaroscuro in my drawings is intended to help dramatize the relationship between past and present, the seen and the unseen in prehistoric landscapes and how particular shapes in the landscape - curves, lines, circles and angles, invite contemplation of the long sequence of natural and human events integral to their visual formation.


Ray Ward works in a variety of disciplines including drawing, painting and performance. After graduating in fine art from Trent Polytechnic in1983, Ray has been working consistently on his art alongside a variety of part time jobs including art school lecturer, firefighter, youth worker, caretaker and more recently as an art technician at Marlborough College. His new drawings, made using a computer drawing pad from preparatory sketches and photographs are part of this exhibition.

I have lived in Wiltshire for thirty years and landmarks like Silbury Hill and the Marlborough Mound have always been around me but not featured much in my work. Last year I was asked to do some drawings for a book about Silbury Hill and thereafter the hill and its counterpart at Marlborough have infiltrated my thinking and have become markers, not only in the landscape but also in my own personal history. The feeling that they’ve always been there while everything around them has changed gives these mysterious man-made structures an occasionally comic but always prescient mystique.

Cost:   normal Museum admission charges apply
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