WHAT'S ON

Wells & Mendip Museum has a busy calendar of events. From talks and workshops to art exhibitions and garden days, keep an eye on this page to see what's coming up.

The museum publishes a free bi-monthly newsletter with information on events and developments in the museum. Please visit Our Newsletter page to subscribe or download copies.

 
Unfortunately all scheduled events have been postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
Instead, we have an exciting series of virtual exhibitions available to view here.
What's On - Summary
Scroll down the page for full event details
As I See It

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An Art Exhibition by Brian Luker

Lord Of The Dance

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An Exhibition of Sculpture by Simon Latham

"Photographic Perspectives" by Joshua Harris

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Somerset Wildlife Trust talk

WNHAS Talk - "Alfred the Great and the Somerset connection"

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Chris Eldridge

Somerset and Bath Lunatic Asylum, 1848-1918

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A Photographic Exhibition

Gold "Posy Ring"

An Exciting Acquisition

"The Curator's Choice" is a changing display which features an item specially chosen by the curator.

This "Posy Ring" is a locally found post-Medieval gold ring, dating from 1550 to 1650.

 

A posy ring is a finger ring inscribed with a short message. It gets its name from “Poesy”, an old word for a verse of poetry or a motto.

 

This ring is inscribed “FERE + GOD + EVER”, where “FERE” is an old word for a marriage partner - a husband or wife. During the Middle Ages when religion was so much part of everyday life it was not unusual to combine religious, friendly or amorous words.

Medieval rings had the inscription on the outside, but later ones, like this post-Medieval example which dates from between 1550 and 1650, have the inscription on the inside.

 

Curator David Walker said “the craftsmanship of the goldsmith is amazing and the ring will make a wonderful addition to the museum’s displays.”

"The Curator's Choice" cabinet is outside The Exhibition Room (upstairs).

 

Brian Luker learnt watercolour from the renowned ornithological painter R. B. Talbot-Kelly. Brian’s paintings of aeroplanes, often incidents in flying careers, are distributed around the world with the fellow pilots he gave them to, so the earliest picture here is of La Alhambra in Granada University. Career and family then produced a gap of 30 years.

After a first heart attack, Brian took up painting again as a successful therapy to regain concentration. His work has developed since then, with a more vivid palette and the enjoyment of the different tactility and process that oils provide in such contrast to watercolour. In both media he loves texture and the understanding of shape, shadows and reflection. His subjects vary widely from still life, figure, landscape (en plein air, when possible) to portrait works.

David Cuthbert and Robert Maxwell-Wood have been very influential in these developments, while his work is featured in Ros Cuthbert’s book Introduction to Painting Portraits. He has exhibited at RWS. Brian’s work is firmly in the realist tradition and reflects a clarity of view that goes, he hopes, with his view of the world. Heroes are Hockney and Freud (“rescuers of English painting”), but his favourite painting is the ‘Vista de Toledo’ by El Greco, a portrait of Brian’s best-loved city in Spain.

NORMAL MUSEUM ENTRY PRICE APPLIES

An Art Exhibition by Brian Luker

As I See It

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"Lord of the Dance" is the title of a sculpture Simon Latham made in 1990 when he was resident artist at Peterborough Cathedral. It is composed of three entwined, tubular elements, and creates a lively, cruciform figure.

The title is shared with Sydney Carter’s well-loved hymn and the Hindu god Shiva. The image can be seen as a reference to the crucified Christ (“He opened wide his arms for us on the cross”) and draws to mind the Brazen Serpent, made by Moses and raised on a staff as a symbol of healing to the Israelites in the wilderness, which Christ understood to prefigure his own crucifixion. It also invites comparison with the snake entwined staff of Asclepius, who of all the gods of the ancient world is nearest to the ideal of Christ: his walking stick and snake is now a universal symbol of the medical profession.

Last year, Simon decided to recreate the life-sized sculpture that once stood in Peterborough Cathedral, the other pieces were made between 1989 and 1992. He is delighted that these exhibits can be seen again together as a group. Some are carved from wood and others are made of plaster. Variations on the theme include a seated Christ in Majesty, often represented in cathedral carvings, and a reclining figure originally referring to St Paul at his conversion. Drawings, paintings and prints exploring the theme are exhibited with the sculptures alongside original photographs. It is imagery of hope, faith and sacrificial love,and he hopes you find it visually pleasing, still of interest and worth visiting.

The graphic work includes four charcoal drawings: one each of his first two woodcarvings, another showing three views of the small plaster torso figure, the last showing the reclining St Paul torso figure. There are three small black and white paintings exploring the confrontation of the two torso figures, and a colour poster of Sebastien Bourdon’s “Brazen Serpent” (1660) Prado Museum, Madrid.

Simon Latham was born in 1964. He graduated from Oxford University as a Bachelor of Fine Art in 1987. Before coming to Peterborough Cathedral, he was Resident Artist at Plymouth College and Repton School. He became an Art Teacher in 1994 and has taught at schools in London and Dorset. In 2017, he retired from teaching and has been picking up the threads of past ideas and developing new ones.

FREE ENTRY TO EXHIBITION ONLY

An Exhibition of Sculpture by Simon Latham

Lord Of The Dance

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This talk is organised by the Somerset Wildlife Trust: “Photographic Perspectives”.

Join Joshua Harris as he talks about his experience photographing and filming wildlife.

Price: Members £3 / Non-members £3.50

For more information contact Jean Mantle at jaye.mantle@btinternet.com or by calling 01749 677600

BOOKING NOT REQUIRED

Somerset Wildlife Trust talk

"Photographic Perspectives" by Joshua Harris

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VENUE: THE LECTURE HALL
(DOWNSTAIRS)

For more information on the society please follow the link below.

WNHAS members // FREE
Visitors // £2.00

Chris Eldridge

WNHAS Talk - "Alfred the Great and the Somerset connection"

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This special exhibition tells the story of the patients and staff through photographs.

SADLY THIS HAS BEEN POSTPONED DUE TO THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN, BUT WE HOPE TO RESCHEDULE.

The incredible portrait displayed is of a patient at the Somerset and Bath Asylum, one of many hundreds in Mendip Hospital Trust collection.

The Friends of Mendip Hospital Cemetery and Wells & Mendip Museum are combining resources to stage a unique exhibition of the story of the patients and staff of the hospital through the legacy of the photographs of both patients and staff in the archives of both groups.

Alongside these amazing pictures will be medical histories of the patients, the history of the medicine and therapies used in the treatment of mental health at the time, the causes of admission, and artefacts from the hospital. Together this will give us a fascinating glimpse into the life of this huge and important institution, which was a large part of life and work in Wells for over 150 years.

A Photographic Exhibition

Somerset and Bath Lunatic Asylum, 1848-1918

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