Arts in Glastonbury 2006

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Below is an article which appeared in the January 2007 issue of the Oracle – the local Glastonbury free newspaper. Much has changed since then but this is an interesting view of the overall artistic activities as they were then.

We produced our first issue of Glastonbury News in December – at that time we were uncertain whether there would be enough news for this to become a regular feature. Having done a modest amount of research, we now believe that there is no shortage of interesting news and we are planning for this to become a feature of each issue. Our policy is that this should be an extension of the policy of the Oracle, namely to provide news of what is going on in Glastonbury without editorial comment.

We believe that the best way of covering the huge amount of community activity in the town is to give short pieces with a clear link on how to find more information. If you would like to contribute information about your project for a possible future issue, please contact the Oracle at the address on the front page.

Arts and Crafts

This is the theme for January – in recent months there has been a burst of creativity in the in the Arts world in Glastonbury. Below are some of the things that are going on

The Phoenix Project

The Phoenix project is Glastonbury’s' contemporary art space, with an emphasis on experimenting with both conventional techniques and the new technologies. An art group, suitable for both professional artists and complete beginners meets on Thursday's from 2pm - 5pm. (Sessions restart on January 11th).

The Phoenix project, King Street,Glastonbury BA6 9JX. King Street is a turning off Northload Street almost opposite Sedgemoor Way

The AshTat Centre for Creative Living

A gallery fronts the Centre. Whilst this is seen as an opportunity for local artists to exhibit their work - many for the first time - the Gallery is attracting the interest of international artists who have an affinity with the special energy of our town. The Centre also offers a programme of courses and meditations grounded on creativity. There is an understanding that creative expression in whatever form, when entered into fully and completely, has the power to transform how we are and how we feel, to change the nature of our being.

The rich range of creative courses offered at the Centre is facilitated by well-qualified and dedicated teachers and leaders. Courses offered include drawing and painting, life drawing, mandala painting, creative writing, poetry, drama, film, raw food cuisine – as well as weekly meditation groups and healing therapies.

Two beautiful rooms are now available for hire by groups and individuals in sympathy with the ethos and purpose of the Centre. The purpose of the Centre is to empower all who attend to discover their creativity and express it in a way that is right for them, an exciting and life-transforming journey.


The Vortex is a small art gallery in Glastonbury within Abbey Mews shopping arcade. It began early in 2006 with the intention of promoting and displaying the work of local artists. Vortex is a co-operatively run business and all involved are artists from the area with a shared ambition to expand and develop their creativity. Human beings were born to create, so let’s create something beautiful!

Somerset Rural Life Museum

The magnificent fourteenth-century Abbey barn is the centrepiece of the Somerset Rural Life Museum. The museum has a varied programme of art and craft exhibitions and live demonstrations throughout the year. Please check the web site for news of exhibitions. Winter hours: (4th November - 31st March) Tuesdays to Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm Closed Good Friday.

Glastonbury Galleries

Ruth and Ian Morland own and run this small(ish) gallery and picture framers in Glastonbury, tucked away beside the Assembly Rooms. Ruth frames almost anything and has a beautiful open hearted approach to the arts. Ian is a great collector of antique maps, watercolours, prints and oil paintings. Having a gallery means they are able to show some of their collection along with other work by local artists. The display changes regularly and has featured Norman Parker, John Morland, Joan Ryder, Colin Threadgall, Malgosia Chelminska, and Jonathan Minshall. We don't just sell pictures and frames - we also have a range of gifts (including some antique and collectable bits and pieces), greeting cards and wrapping paper.


Art, crafts, jewellery and gifts can be found at Galleryeight in Glastonbury’s Market Place. The majority of the work is created by local people and Galleryeight is building a reputation for its eclectic mix of high quality, affordable art, crafts and other goodies.

The gallery stocks a range of contemporary artworks and gifts to suit every taste. You can pick up ‘art with attitude’ including hand painted skateboards through to surreal and impressionist paintings, photography, jewellery, pottery and textiles.

Owners Steve and Dawn Rose have run a successful creative business for nine years and opened a retail shop in Glastonbury due to its reputation for the arts. They met in Somerset in 1981 and always planned to move here to work with the wealth of creative talent in and around Glastonbury.

Galleryeight’s historic, medieval building provides a ground floor retail shop packed with a full range of items along with a first floor exhibition area for larger pictures and works.

Why not visit Galleryeight, 8 Market Place, Glastonbury.

Opening hours:

  • 9.30am - 5.30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday.
  • 1pm – 5.30pm Thursdays
  • 11am - 5.30pm Sunday.
  • Closed Monday.

Glastonbury Abbey

The Abbey offers a varied and growing programme of arts and music throughout the year. In 2007 basketmaking, calligraphy, stone sculpting, wood carving and mosaics will be featured. Please check web site for full details. Tel: 01458 832267

Some Local Artists

Paul Branson, artist

Paul is a local artist whose work is largely inspired by the Somerset landscape around Glastonbury. This conveys a sense of calm from its low horizon and huge sky space.

Rupert Andrews Pottery

Rupert Andrews developed a unique glaze technique over 22 years. Each piece is hand-thrown, biscuit fired, layers of coloured glaze applied by brush, sponge, dipping and wax resist. After a second firing the glaze cracks; lines are then filled with clay/oxide mixture, which melts into the surface in the final firing. Only the 'memory' of the cracks remain. Ruperts work can be bought on Glastonbury Market.

Michael Grevatte, Sculptures

Working from his studio on Wells Road, Michael carves and paints large and small abstract wood reliefs and sculptures and carved stone abstract sculptures.

Kate Rattray, Mosaic artist

Craft demonstration ‘Making Mosaics’ in Glastonbury Abbey June 11-14th


AvalonCAN - New Arts Network

Avalon Creative Arts Network (AvalonCAN) is open to any artist living/working in Glastonbury and the surrounding areas. The network aims to promote the wealth of creative talent in the area and to help as many people and communities as possible to gain maximum benefit from this. New members are always welcome.

There's a regular weekly meeting of the Creative Arts Network on Thursday nights, usually about 8 pm.

The Engine Room

The Engine Room is Somerset's accessible community media centre and the base for the services of registered charity Somerset Film and Video Ltd. From the Engine Room we enable and undertake moving image projects across Somerset and the South West. We offer aspirants and practitioners courses and seminars in many aspects of film related practice, an advisory/information service and drop in access to our training facilities. We also offer bursaries and work experience opportunities, often on one of our production projects.

Creative Arts Boost

Free business and technical support, located in Taunton, for anyone working in the creative sector in Somerset.

Return to the Arts page.

Arts in Glastonbury 2006 Author: Barry Taylor Jan 2007 Editor: DP 20-12-2016