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  • Writer's picturePeacock Arts HQ

Venue #7 – The Almshouses

Our 7th venue is the beautiful and historic Almshouses which is just a short 2 minute walk from the town centre and will be home for the week to five of our talented artists and a range of artforms…

Philippa’s sculptures would grace any garden. She uses ceramics to describe natural elements, together with found objects, and always a sense of movement.

Her studio is “… at home in Corsham. My studio is a mess; lots of boxes of driftwood, rusty metal and old gadgets!”. When Phillipa is not creating, she loves “foraging – on a beach or on a woodland walk; collecting bits of flotsam and fallen objects which seem to jump out at me, calling to be re- used! On holiday in France I love rummaging in country village sales – Their junk seems so much more interesting than our own!”

Phillipa sees her main creative challenges as “Being a chemist and an engineer! Learning to use electric tools ‘made for men’ e.g. angle grinders and  masks and helmets that are designed for hands and heads so much larger than mine”  She says of the Peacock Trail “ It’s a real privilege to meet people, who want to know all about the idea and construction behind things, and talk about where they imagine having them in their gardens.”

The Almhouses in Corsham seem a fittingly atmospheric venue to host the art of Clare Winnan. Clare works with found objects to create pieces that draw on the tensions between delicacy and underlying sinister messages.  Her work often holds a preoccupation with childhood memories and nostalgia and these themes are explored through the re-occurring use of dolls house furniture and insects.

When asked about a typical day, Clare laughs and says “A typical day? I’m not sure that I have one! Probably it consists of either running around after my two small children (five and two), working as a part-time art teacher or beavering away with one of my sculptural pieces. I always work on more than one piece at a time and so usually have an array of objects, insects and crab claws around me.

I’m currently building a studio in my garden, so at the moment I’m working on my kitchen table or any other space I can find. There’s work in progress and objects all over my house that I am using, or about to use, so it’s a bit chaotic!”

Clare is also offering family friendly workshops during the Trail as part of the Big Draw.

Maggie works from her home studio, creating simple, elegant and affordable pieces. She uses mainly Silver, precious metal clay, freshwater pearls and interesting semi-precious stones. She is known for her distinctive style and is currently extending her silver range of rings and pendants, mainly on commission.

Maggie is a retired nurse who loves living in countryside, where she enjoys tending her garden, walking her English Setter and singing with an Accapella choir in Trowbridge. She is currently a part time student at Trowbridge College where she is studying Advanced Project Based Silversmithing. To relax, Maggie often visits her second home in St Agnes, Cornwall and says she is inspired by the scenery and seascape there.

Jan Nesbitt has been painting all her life, firstly as a children’s illustrator and now as a fine artist and teacher. Her paintings are celebrations of elements found directly in the natural world. “I love the glowing colours of watercolour and use them boldly and strongly or more thinly, but always I hope retaining the glow and life of a stained glass window”.

Jan works in what was her son’s bedroom which she says is “absolutely crammed…dripping off the shelves are masks, a crescent moon, silver apples, artificial flowers, favourite quotes, etc. There are piles of prints and paintings, and a special place on my work table for our cat Tinker to sleep. It’s pretty hard to get through the door!”

When she’s not working Jan loves “being with my friends and family, exploring new places, particularly rural ones, I love reading and listening to music, poetry, films, sitting in cafes and bookshops, laughing and dreaming”.

We are a small group of ladies who share a love and interest in glass. We fuse, paint, copperfoil and create stained glass panels.


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