Riem of the Ancient Mariner

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Contains Art

Jon England

  Jon England
Open daily

Jon England explores the human history of the West Somerset Mineral Line through a series of salt and iron portraits. Off-site installations will begin at Watchet’s Market House Museum and further locations througout the season.

Jess Ostrowicz

  Jess Ostrowicz
Open daily

Jess Ostrowicz creates a sculptural heritage piece that echoes the voice of local folk legend, Captain John Short—Yankee Jack. This public work will use wind to reproduce the seven notes achieved by the celebrated shanty singer.

Lumen Projects

  Lumen Projects
Open daily

Lumen Projects present a public commission in partnership with Contains Art that will explore the latest in digital technolgy & art. Audiences can expect participatory digital artworks at Contains Art and throughout Watchet.

Lynn Dennison

  Lynn Dennison
Sea Swimmers
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

Lynn Dennison creates a new film installation documenting year-round sea swimmers off the West Somerset coast. Lynn films the swimmer's passage into and out of the water. The installation will be at Watchet Boat Museum.

New Wave

  New Wave
rwa, bristol, BS8 1PX
Tuesday-Saturday 10.00am-5.30pm
Sunday 11.00am-5.00pm
Monday Closed

Curated by Toni Davey RWA, a new wave of arts students reimagine Hokusai's Great Wave.
rwa.org.uk #newwavetouring

Helen Knight

  Helen Knight
News From The Invisible World
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

A new installation distorting the dimensions of the exhibition space, twisting its surroundings into a suspended sculpture of organic matter and printed word. Also exhibited is a survey of the artist's career, with works on loan from a private collection.

Dylan Fox

  Dylan Fox
Rituals of Tourism
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

A diverse new solo exhibition exploring the physical, medical, emotional and social aspects of gender transition through public and gallery artworks based around themes of tourism. Supported by Renée Pfister Art & Gallery Consultancy.

Jenny Barron

  Jenny Barron
New Perspectives
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

A series of watercolour compositions taking inspiration from Watchet and the surrounding West Somerset coast, creating a narrative of marine instrumentation and organic materials, uniting town and harbour in still-life.


  Lumen Prize
Adventures in Digital Art
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

Artists are skilled at enabling us to see the world differently. Now using the latest technology, they invite us to interact and immerse ourselves in their inventive creations. In partnership with Lumen Prize, Contains Art will present some of the best digital art being created today.

Watchet Summertime

  Watchet Summertime
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

Watchet artists collectively exhibit their works as part of Watchet Summertime Festival.


  Lydia Halcrow
Mapping Place
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

A solo exhibition recording walks along the North Devon and Somerset coastlines. Using pigments made from collected earth, the exhibition looks at themes of nature, memory and place. Layering personal journeys, folklore and trails, the artist creates unconventional maps of her experiences.

Somerset Art Weeks 2018

  Somerset Art Weeks 2018
Open Studios
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

Contains Art's resident studio holders open their workspaces for public viewing as part of the Somerset Art Weeks festival. From paintings, prints, ceramics and more, studio holders invite you to see their place of work, take interest in their practice and relax in the comfort of the Contains Art courtyard.

Chris Dobrowlolski

  Chris Dobrowlolski
Wed-Sun & daily during holidays

This exhibition by Chris Dobrowlolski will be the last formal exhibition in the container for at least a year, as the organisation prepares for its new future as part of the East Quay development.

In his exhibition ‘Transit Transition’ the artist directly addresses this time of metamorphosis for the shipping container art gallery that has housed exhibitions on the quayside for five years now.

  Richard Broomhall
Severn Sea
Container Conversation:
Friday 21/04/17 7pm

Richard Broomhall brings sharks to shipping containers in an epic deep sea dive of film and animation, plumbing the depths of landscape, legend and technology in a multi-media installation.

Jeremy Cooper   Jeremy Cooper

From the collection of Jeremy Cooper, an installation of over three thousand postcards at Podshavers restaurant on the outskirts of Bishop's Lydeard. Postcards by Ian Hamilton Finlay will also be shown at Watchet Boat Museum together with an installation of postcards at Watchet's Market House Museum.

Sara Dudman RWA & Jenny Graham

  Sara Dudman RWA & Jenny Graham
Unfamiliar Territories

An exhibition by Sara Dudman RWA and Jenny Graham. The pair record their creative journey exploring a small footprint of the West Somerset coastline and its legacy.

Matisse   Matisse
Drawing with Scissors

A Hayward Touring exhibition from Southbank Centre, London, featuring 35 lithographic prints of Henri Matisse's famous cut-outs.

Henri Matisse, Nu bleu II (Blue Nude II), 1952 (Lithographic reproduction)
© Succession H. Matisse/ DACS 2017

Sheila Mannes-Abbott

  Sheila Mannes-Abbott
A Botanical Life

An exhibition of the life and work of celebrated botanical artist, Sheila Mannes-Abbott.

West Somerset Open   West Somerset Open
Changing Times

Invited selectors choose works submitted by West Somerset artists for an open exhibition exploring the theme of 'changing times'. Whether political uncertainty or personal development, artists address these through their own perspectives.

PDF West Somerset Open submission document

Watchet Summertime

  Watchet Summertime

Watchet-based artists showcase their work in the lead up to the annual Watchet Summertime Festival.

The Time Machine

  The Time Machine
Exhibition & Publication

Contemporary artists invited by Contains Art 'speculate upon the destinies of our race' through creative responses to H G Wells's classic time traveller novel.

New Wave & Somerset Art Weeks

  New Wave &
Somerset Art Weeks

Linking Hokusai's iconic Great Wave with a new wave of art students, Toni Davey curates a reunion of alumni from West Somerset Community College.



An exemplary emerging artist from further afield, invited and supported by Contains Art, develops their practice in a solo exhibition. Artist to be announced in the Spring.

The The Machine   hg wells:
The time machine 2017
Deadline 5pm,
3rd February 2017

Where will we be some 80,500 years from now? Calling for submissions of a new publication and exhibition of The Time Machine by H.G.Wells, to coincide with the year of the author’s 150th birthday anniversary. Create an artwork to speculate ‘upon the destinies of our race’. Chosen artworks will illustrate the text and be part of a specially curated exhibition at Contains Art.

PDF Download submission info

The The Machine   Eloise Malone:
The Cold Truth
friday 7.00pm

Following her recent show The Cold Truth - the best exhibition that we have seen in the South West this year - Eloise Malone, Creative Director of Effervescent and Radiant Gallery, Plymouth, will talk about her cutting-edge practice, socially engaged curating. She will discuss the social strategies that sit behind her work in training vulnerable children and young people with experiences of domestic abuse, sexual violence, exploitation, mental illness and trauma to work within a gallery and curate professional exhibitions.*

*Please be aware that the work is not graphic but may nevertheless trigger strong emotions and reactions for some people as the show was curated by children who had experienced sexual exploitation.

Shifting Somerset   Lucy Large:

11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday (open every day during the Easter holidays).

For some time now Lucy has been placing her inventive sculpture in boxes. This new work alters the scale of this staging. The box framing is now a shipping container, allowing a further exploration of the theatre of the sculptural object.

Sculpture & Springtime   Sculpture & Springtime

2.00pm-4.00pm BBQ, bar & Free entry...

Come and help us celebrate spring with the creation and installation of a flock of springtime birds returning to Watchet.

This event coincides with Lucy Large's sculptural installation “passage” in the gallery.

Shifting Somerset   Alejandro Acin:
A Trading Journey

11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday

In China, Guangzhou has become the southern gateway to exchanges between the mainland and foreign countries. This photography exhibition shows a visual narrative based on the routine trading activities of market and wholesales traders and their relations with their environment.

James Marsden   James Marsden:
Thousand Year Series

11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday

James' work is concerned with the longevity of artistic endeavor in a digital age where attention is fleeting and distractions are many. In this exhibition he explores how tablets and smartphones have seeped into our every experience and challenges us to consider the isolation that threatens to characterize modern life as a result.

Seaside Shakespeare   Seaside


Join in with a Shakespearian Treasure Hunt around the town. Beginning 2pm, 3pm and 4pm at Contains Art. Plus great food and music. All welcome, free entry.

This event coincides with The Tempest exhibition in the gallery.

Vanessa Clegg Caliban   The Tempest:
exhibition and publication

11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday

The Tempest deals with themes as diverse as sexual control, the supernatural and colonialism. The beauty of its language and the depth of its ideas have always inspired producers, writers and artists. To mark 400 years since Shakespeare's death we publish a new edition of the play, with accompanying exhibition, showcasing artists' contemporary interpretations of one of his greatest works.

Marking Time 2016   Marking time:
geology 2

11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday (daily in holidays)

Andy Davey, Melanie Deegan, Alison Jacobs, Lucy Lean, Sue Lowe and Angela Wood present an exhibition of work inspired by the unique coastal geology of West Somerset. This is a second exhibition by the group who have collaborated over the past 18 months on a programme of investigation and creative development, taking the geologist's view of our coast as its focus. The exhibition explores the dramatic layers and rich textures that characterize the cliffs and beaches alongside underlying themes of concealment, revelation, erasure and deep time.

Jenny Barron Summertime   Watchet

11.00am-5.00pm Daily.

Annual exhibition by artists living and working in Watchet. A colourful and varied show in a wide range of styles and techniques including sculpture, oils, watercolour and prints. Featured artists include Nick Cotton, Jenny Barron, Pat Dennis and Darren Scott, and many more. Open evening 6-8pm Saturday 13th August, all welcome.

framed   The Blue Hour

11.00am-4.00pm Wednesday–Sunday (daily in holidays).

This mixed-media installation is a collaboration between artist, Vanessa Clegg, and woodworker/composer, Ian Shaw exploring the relationship between the artist and the frame, through the deeper theme of transitions. The blue hour represents the transitory period of twilight at dawn or dusk when sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. The artists look to exploit this visual phenomenon.

The Way We See It   The way we
see it

11.00am-4.00pm Wednesday–Sunday (open 'til 6pm when possible).

Timed to coincide with Somerset Open Studios 2016 this is our third exhibition showcasing the collective work of West Somerset artists. They 'made an exhibition of themselves' in 2014 and last year they showed us they 'knew their place'. This year they are working from another provocative starting point, to conveying something unique about themselves; the way they see, think, select, view, question, propose, describe, create and interpret 'the way they see it'.

Open Studios 2016   Open Studios

11.00am-6.00pm Wednesday–Sunday.

Contains Art resident studio artists open for Somerset Art Weeks. A painter, a potter and a printmaker (Georgina Towler, new to Contains Art this year, Valerie Berry and Sue Lowe), all responding, in their different ways, to aspects of the landscape. Contains Art is also delighted to be host to a SAW Creative Pathways bursary recipient, to be selected to show at our venue.

Wansbrough   Wansbrough

11.00am-4.00pm Wednesday–Sunday.

At the end of 2015 Wansbrough Paper Mill, which has defined the town's working identity for more than 250 years, stopped making paper for the final time with the loss of close to 200 jobs. This exhibition will capture, celebrate and commemorate the visual and social importance of the Mill and its workers in Watchet's industrial history.

Wansbrough   Contains Art
Community Event


To celebrate Wansbrough Paper Mill and accompanied by an exhibition in the gallery.

Paper making with Two Rivers mill, creative workshops and food.

With music from Bob and Roberta Smith’s Apathy Band.

All ages welcome.

The Tempaest

Miranda by John William Waterhouse, 1916
  The Tempest by William Shakespeare
Exhibition and new book Call for submissions

Following the success of our publication in 2015 of a new edition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, we are delighted to offer a new opportunity to artists to contribute to the second publication in what we hope will be a ongoing series (watch this space for news of 2017’s choice). This project has been made possible with financial support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Fairfield Charitable Trust.

Submission Deadline 18 March 2016

PDF Download submissions form here.

Shifting Somerset   Shifting Submission
Call for submissions

We are delighted to invite applicants to apply for two Arts Council-supported month-long exhibition opportunities - one in summer 2016 and one in late spring 2017.

The focus of these opportunities is on practice-stretching work by Somerset artists/curators. The package of support includes invigilation, expenses, admin and marketing, curatorial advice and PV. Please see the attached submission information and form for details. We also hope to visit Creatives Clubs around the county, time permitting, to discuss these and other opportunities at Contains Art in 2016 and 2017. Please do pass this on to others.

The deadline for applications is 29th February 2016 at 5pm

Word Doc Download submissions form here.

Dot Light Shapes   Dot Kuzniar: Shivelight
28 March - 12 April
Open daily, 11am - 4pm

An interactive and sensory experience, this is an invitation to curiously engage with our perceptions and emotional response to the illusory medium of light.

Ignite   Ignite Somerset: Projecting art across the county
28 March 6pm - 9pm

Throughout March and into April Ignite will be lighting up buildings with Art. we are collaborating with artist Dot Kuzniar and others exploring projection shadows, lights and reflection.

Somerset College   Somerset College Foundation Students:
Secrets and Lies
25 April - 4 May
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

Foundation diploma students exhibit a collection of individual responses to the theme. The work explores a wide range of ideas and processes from students whose next steps are degree courses such as graphics, fine art, illustration, product design, fashion and textiles.

Jill Newton   Jill Newton: Dogs on Strings;
and other classically trained animals
6 May - 10 May
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

Late at night music drifts up from a basement bar where a zebra gently tinkles the keys of the piano. Next door, Rams play soulfully on saxophones and a sheep strums her harp. Jill's paintings explore the twilight world of what creatures get up to when our curtains are drawn and eyes shut.

Jill Newton   Jurassic: Triassic: A geological journey
16 May - 31 May
open every day in school holidays, otherwise wednesdays - sundays, 11am - 4pm.

Inspired by the strata, rock formations, and landscape of the coastline, local artists undertake an artistic exploration around and about Watchet’s extraordinary geology, from Doniford to Blue Anchor.

Spring BBQ   Spring BBQ
Saturday 30th May
2pm - 6pm

live music, workshops, delicious food & drink.

j o n i d e n t   j o n i d e n t : that rings a bell
3 June - 7 June
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

Bells play a familiar and everyday role in our lives and have a strong association with emotional, psychological and spiritual experiences and moments that come and go. This site-specific installation aims to stir the senses encountered by such threshold experiences.

Jenni Dutton   Jenni Dutton: Mirror mirror on the wall
10 June - 14 June
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

The show brings together Jenni Dutton's work around the theme of Mending. Using mainly Dolls and Dresses as subject matter, the outcomes allude to myths and fairy tales rooted deep in our traditions and our memory. Mirrors feature as a potent symbol.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner   The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
18 June - 12 July
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

An unprecedented exhibition and publication featuring contemporary works inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most famous poem. Set within the landscape that inspired the man himself, it aims to highlight the current relevance of the verse for today’s audience using imagery as a counterpoint to this iconic text.

Buy the book online now!

Edge   Edge (3 painters and a potter)... closer
15 July - 19 July
Open Wednesdays - Sundays, 11am - 4pm

Four friends, all living on the edge of and inspired by the natural beauty of the Quantock Hills, exhibit their work together. The exhibition will feature recent landscapes and figurative work in oils, acrylic & clay by Annabel Gaitskell, Gerry Wright, Juliet Harkness & Alison Hood.

Contains Art Kids Art Day   Contains Art Kids Art Day
Saturday 25th July
2pm - 6pm

creative workshops, face painting, activities and BBQ.

Pressing Matters   Pressing Matters... Somerset Printmakers
24 July - 6 August, Open daily 11am - 4pm,
except closed Monday 27th/Tuesday 28th July

Somerset Printmakers was formed in 1998 to bring together the established professional printmakers in Somerset. The group is a showcase for many different methods of printmaking.

Watchet Summertime   Watchet Summertime
8 August - 16 August
Open daily, 11am - 5pm

Annual exhibition by artists living and working in Watchet, a colourful and varied show in a wide range of styles and techniques including sculpture, oils, watercolour and prints. Opening party on Saturday 8th August, all welcome.

Shapes shades   Shapes/shades
19 August - 6 September
Open daily, 11am - 4pm

Contains Art's summer exhibition this year sees eight invited artists whose work captures a beautiful use of shapes and shades from the simple to the inventive. From prints, to paintings to pots, their work has caught our eyes and turned out heads.

Knowing our place   Knowing our place
11 September - 27 September
Open daily, 11am - 4pm

Throughout history, artists have been compelled to record and depict where they live and work. In this exhibition the artists of West Somerset offer a fascinating view into the special places at the heart of their practices.

Knowing our place Education Pack & Poster:

PDF KOP - Poster    PDF KOP - Education Pack

The magic of trees   The magic of trees
3 October - 18 October, Open Wednesdays - Sundays,
11am - 4pm, closed Mondays/Tuesdays

As part of the Somerset Art Weeks Momentum Festival 2015, curator Andy Davey has invited artists, some local and some from further afield, to show new work dedicated to the tree: its physiognomy, its gestures, its beauty, its aura and its vulnerability. The tree as a natural, formal or symbolic phenomenon.

Poetry Pin   Poetry Pin
21 October - 1 November, Open Wednesdays-Sundays,
11am-4pm, closed Mondays/Tuesdays.

exhibition and book launch of 'a walk down the rift - the great somerset imposition' - a collection of poems and augmented photographs documenting the year long poetry pin project; walking, reading and writing poetry in the shadow of hinkley c.

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