The writer Jane Austen was born in Steventon, near Basingstoke, and would have known the town well. This year (2017) is the bicentenary of her death, and several events in the area have marked the occasion, not least the installation of a life-size bronze statue of Austen, by local sculptor Adam Roud, in the Market Place just outside the Willis Museum . The Museum’s own exhibition, Retail and Romance: Jane goes to the ball, closes on the 7th of October.
How to follow Jane?
Well, Joseph is in the wings.
Joseph William Mallord Turner, the artist, was a contemporary of Jane’s, and he, too, visited Basingstoke – as can be seen from by the wonderful sketch made from Chapel Hill, part of the Tate’s collection:
I don’t know if this sketch will be included, but the Willis Museum is hosting an exhibition of Turner’s work. From 21 October to 16 December, Turner and the Sun will be showing in the Sainsbury Gallery on the ground floor.
And if you are going to see the big exhibitions at the Willis museum, don’t forget to visit the Basingstoke Gallery, upstairs. There will be time to catch Basingstoke Art Group’s Seascapes, closing 16 September, before Bethany Milam’s solo show, Everyday Narratives (23 Sept to 21 Oct) and Artikinesis’s The Basingstoke Project (2 – 22 December) bring the artistic focus back to the modern town.
The Artikinesis exhibition features work by Elinor, Adeliza and Amanda – three of our Open Studio artists – and I can guarantee that the chapel of the Holy Ghost (as seen in Turner’s sketch) will be represented upstairs at the Willis Museum in December…
We hope that you have enjoyed visiting our studios and seeing our work on exhibition during OS WBNH 2017.
Many of the studios can be seen by appointment at other times of the year – please contact the artist to arrange an appointment.
And the Willis Museum is still worth a visit. Their headline exhibitions (theres a “modest” Turner exhibition coming up in December) are in the Sainsbury Gallery, downstairs, but do pop upstairs to see what’s going on in the Basingstoke Gallery.
Hey, it’s Saturday! Are you going to Basingstoke? Continue reading