Yesterday saw the opening of Mel’s new artist studio on Watchet Harbour, part of the new Contains Art project there to provide studio and gallery space for local artists. The project has been a little delayed, and required a significant amount of volunteer input, particularly from the participating artists and friends, to transform the bland and slightly rusty shipping containers into something more inspirational. And they’ve managed that to great effect!
The interiors have been studded out, insulated, dry lined and painted, plus essential lighting and electrical services. All but one of the exterior walls still needs to be painted but cost constraints are preventing that at the moment, but they do look somewhat at home alongside the other vessels in the boat yard in various states of repair. Personally I think they need to jazz them all up a bit to create a bit more impact. If they can introduce some sort of cafe/hangout space in the courtyard created by the placement of the containers then it could create a fun and vibrant place to work. On a cold, wet and windy december day, it could be hell on earth!
Watchet is an interesting place, I hear many including Mel, raving about the community and the people. I’m not particularly familiar with it, and on first glance you could easily write it off as lacking a degree of culture, but I suspect that Contains Art is going to do its little bit to make the place feel a little more avant garde.
Mel’s really looking forward to working out of the studio. With the other artists there, after working alone from home for the last 4 years, its likely to reinvigorate and revitalise her work. Not that I’m suggesting that it needs it, but there is always much to be gained by rethinking subjects, approach and materials to keep your artwork looking fresh and generating renewed interest.
And if all else fails, its actually quite nice sitting on the edge of the harbour, looking across the marina, listening to the sheets slapping the masts, watching the world go by. If only they would do something about the expanse of dreary looking mud in the harbour at low tide.