The cold and dramatic beauty of the landscape is truly breath-taking on Exmoor in the winter. We’ve gathered together some art-related experiences that might tempt you to wrap up warm and get outside and explore or, alternatively, stay in and discover your own creativity this December.
Be inspired by Verity, Damien Hirst’s hugely impressive and somewhat controversial sculpture boldly depicted with the sword and scales of justice at the mouth of Ilfracombe Harbour. Love it or hate it, this striking image stands out starkly against the grey winter sea, providing plenty of food for thought and some lively discussions, perhaps over a hot chocolate as you warm up in one of the harbourside cafes.
If you want more outdoor culture head to Broomhill Art. Their award-winning Sculpture Garden has grown to be one of the largest permanent collections of contemporary sculpture in the south west of England. Set in a beautiful, steep-sided valley on the edge of Exmoor, stunning artwork is carefully placed throughout the grounds and is especially dramatic against a winter backdrop. The Tapas lunch at the restaurant is well-worth a visit too.
Feeling creative? Check out the courses on offer at the Exmoor National Park Centre in Lynmouth. Choose from a Pastel workshop (2 Dec), Sea glass jewellery workshop (7 Dec), Stained glass or Watercolour (8 & 14 Dec) and Needle felting (28 Dec). The Centre are holding their annual Christmas Fayre on 10 Dec featuring a variety of local arts and craft exhibitors. For more details and to book the courses contact the centre on 01598 752509 or visit Exmoor Arts.
If your own efforts haven’t quite made the grade, pop in to Polly Skye Art Gallery in beautiful Lynton to stock up on Christmas presents that have a sense of place. Polly represents local artists (including herself) as much as possible and has lots of new paintings of Exmoor as well as ceramics made in the gallery and specialist hand blown glass. Or try Melody Art Gallery in Porlock, where Melody, an artist, and her husband David, a photographer, take their inspiration from the beautiful area in which they live to display a selection of original paintings and a wider choice of prints of paintings and photographs from which to choose.
Check us out for places to stay nearby.