Photographs, paintings and visual projects tell a thousand words. I took on film photography purely as a hobby three years ago, but now I can say that it has become a passion of mine. I feel there is always an emotive story to tell with every photograph, and you can always form your own interpretation from paintings and photos. But how well do creative projects fare in Bournemouth? With creative industries being worth £100 billion yearly, I reached out to some key players for a better insight into Dorset’s creative side.
Dorset really does have, and can have it all
Last August, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Arts University Bournemouth Professor Emma Hunt spoke on the importance of creativity in Dorset, citing how the county is “fast moving into new territory with the potential for younger generations to embrace the county, as an exciting place to work and live” as well as how creative culture should not just be limited to Dorset’s academic institutions, but have an overarching impact on the county’s creative environment and its productivity. I got in contact with a representative from the South West sector of Arts Council England who provided an insight into the work they do in terms of providing a haven for arts and creative culture.
D: What was the motivation for starting the Arts Council?
ACE: “Arts Council England were set up in 1946, by Royal Charter, to champion and develop art and culture across the country. We’re governed by an Executive Board and National and Area Councils.”
D: What do you feel can be done by Bournemouth Council to empower more young people to find their creative spark?
ACE: “There were three separate local authorities and in January 2019, they came together with partners (including two Universities, a Local Enterprise Partnership, a Symphony Orchestra, Lighthouse Poole and the Arts Council) to launch a Cultural Enquiry which would look at the role that culture plays in people’s lives and the opportunity for a long-term cultural vision at the heart of communities in this City Region.”
A Fundamental Pillar in Bournemouth’s Arts Culture
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum is a fundamental pillar in Bournemouth’s Art’s Culture and have been for what seems like forever. Out of the love of his wife in 1901, Merton Russell-Cotes gave the house to her as a gift. This extraordinary house has now become the cultural hub for Art in Dorset and today it was host to the ‘Romanticising Dorset’ Display. I went to Russell-Cotes and spoke to learning team member Elissa Noon about the display, its previous exhibition and the cultural importance of Art and creativity in Bournemouth.
D: What do you feel is the importance of the ‘Romanticising Dorset’ exhibition and display?
Elissa: “It gives people the opportunity to see the amazing selection of work by Leslie Moffat Ward, and today is the opportunity for those who missed out on the previous exhibition.”
D: What do you feel is the importance projects such as these to give young people an insight into art and creative culture?
Elissa: “Hopefully everyone young and old can view these images can make them feel inspired themselves or appreciate the art itself.”
D: What do you feel is the overarching importance of places such as Russell-Cotes to Dorset, being the pinnacle of Art and the appreciation of culture itself?
Elissa: “I feel Russell-Cotes is vital to Bournemouth as a whole, obviously Sir Merton and Lady Annie Russell-Cotes didn’t have to give their house and art collections to the people, but they did. And hopefully the people of Bournemouth can appreciate the gift they have been given, and are willing to maintain that gift for the future.”
I also reached out to Michael Spender, Museum and Arts Manager at the BCP Council on the Cultural Enquiry in Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch, as well as the active work BCP Council are doing to champion Art culture and creativity. Spender cited that the enquiry offers a “great opportunity to take stock of Arts and Culture venues and activity across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and look at the options to develop a dynamic.”
I hope there is scope for motivated inspire the next generation of creatives in Dorset, and given them various outlets to create valued content and thrive. Here is a link to my discussion with Elissa
And for more reactions to art and culture in Bournemouth, follow my twitter!