People Came For Tea and Stayed Forever

20 January - 6 May 2024
10.00 - 17.00
Free to all

A solo exhibition of new and existing work, by artist Sam Francis

Sam Francis explores the rich history and mythologies of Nettlecombe in East Quay's latest exhibition: People Came For Tea and Stayed Forever. The exhibition, a response to the Nettlecombe estate in Exmoor National Park, Somerset, draws inspiration from the artistic legacy of this rural haven.

Nettlecombe, meaning 'valley of nettles', is famously shown in Alexander Hollweg's iconic woodcut print, Country Dance, depicting its idyllic rural setting in West Somerset. In this exhibition, Francis delves into the creative culture and mythologies of Nettlecombe, revealing layers of community, history, and the intersection of art, labour, and the working of the land. Today, Nettlecombe Court houses the Leonard Wills Field Centre, an environmental education charity, and the Nettlecombe Craft School. The estate, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, stands as a testament to its commitment to nature and learning. Francis used Hollweg's Country Dance as a starting point for the exhibition, and her installation culminates in a large folk banner in East Quay's downstairs gallery - a celebration of community and rural life. The exhibition continues with a series of prints of photographs taken from the Hollweg family collection, capturing real moments from May Day celebrations to life on the community farm. Alongside these are an original Maypole Spinner, nettle-dyed textiles, and a film documenting the labour-intensive process of cordage making from nettles.

This listing is supplied by one of our museum partners and is not moderated by Art Fund.

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East Quay, Harbour Road, Watchet, Somerset, TA23 0AQ
01984 263103

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