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Creative Wiltshire – an Exciting 2016

It’s been a truly exciting year for the Heritage Lottery Funded Collecting Cultures project Creative Wiltshire based at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre, with The Young Gallery in Salisbury and Trowbridge Museum both being welcomed as participating museums. The Creative Wiltshire project has provided us with a wonderful opportunity for Archives and Local Studies to work more closely with Museums; opening communication channels, working together and learning from each other in a way that is beneficial to all.

This year we’ve been able to acquire over 50 items on behalf of Wiltshire’s Museums, Archives and Local Studies Libraries. Highlights have included ceramics by the ground-breaking practitioners Sasha Wardell and Patricia Volk for Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, pencil sketches by the artist Christopher Wood whose life was tragically cut short at Salisbury railway station in1930 for the Young Gallery, silverware by the Watling silversmiths for Chippenham Heritage Museum, woodcut engravings by Howard Phipps for WSHC Local Studies and Salisbury Museum, and a landscape painting by Wilfrid de Glen, considered one of the most distinguished artists to have lived in Wiltshire, for Salisbury Museum.

A caster shaker made by Watlings of Lacock, acquired on behalf of Chippenham Heritage Museum

An important part of the project involves organising community engagement events. We have entertained preschoolers at Holt and at Marlborough Library with our set of Pelham puppets and the tale of ‘The Good Wolf’ – an alternative version of the Little Red Riding Hood tale, enhancing the historic links to Pelham Puppets and Marlborough. The puppets were one of the flagship themes at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre with a wonderful display by enthusiast Peter Bevan who has also been making the most of the Pelham Puppet archive at WSHC, expanded with the help of Creative Wiltshire. The Open Day also showcased the work of the blacksmith Hector Cole who brought with him both the images and his personal experience of working with Terry Pratchett to produce the Pratchett sword.

Pelham puppets on display at WSHC’s Open Day, October 2016


WSHC is hosting what we are sure will prove to be a very successful evening with the award-winning Wiltshire wildlife photographer and film maker Nick Upton, WSHC Local Studies Library having acquired some lovely examples of Nick’s work thanks to Creative Wiltshire. If you enjoy crafts events, we have arranged for the ceramicist Sasha Wardell to demonstrate the art of bone china slipcasting at the Springfield Community Campus, Corsham, 8 January 2017, 10.30-1pm.

Sasha Wardell at work in her workshop in Stowford


Participating museums have been busy making the most of their new acquisitions. Swindon Museum and Art Gallery have been holding exhibitions with ceramics works by Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie and Trevor Chaplin on show. Their latest exhibition is showcasing new pieces by artist Joe Tilson. The project has also enabled them to acquire some pieces by the much loved Swindonian artist and muralist Ken White, proving to be a very popular addition to the collection.

A sketch by the renowned etcher Robin Tanner has been the centrepiece of a recent exhibition at Chippenham Heritage Museum, and further pieces acquired as part of the project such as ceramics by Robert & Sheila Fournier of the Lacock pottery and a print by Harold Hodgkin will form an exciting part of their forthcoming exhibition planning – watch this space!

There’s still time for you to help.

Who is your favourite artist, designer, sculptor, writer or musician… tell us more at

We offer a warm welcome to new volunteers.
There are many exciting opportunities to get involved in the Creative Wiltshire project, from researching creative individuals to photography and manipulating images in Photoshop, entering data onto spreadsheets, cataloguing and digitising items to make them accessible, taking part in events at local museums, and much more! Please contact us at




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