Our Events

Click here to view the Events Programme 2023

Click here to view Events Reviews

For PAW Festival 2023, we had four main concerts plus a talk, our annual open mic poetry event at the Globe, a coffee concert at Encombe House and a live portrait painting event at The Mowlem. The Festival opened with a sequence of vocal consort works performed by the Gesualdo Six. Voice perform Hildegard Transfigured, a show with live visuals, text and music to celebrate 12th century Hildegard von Bingen’s work as a composer, visionary and woman. The art of portraiture in public sculpture was explored in a talk by internationally renowned sculptor, and PAW President, Philip Jackson, followed by a panel discussion on what makes a good portrait. Due to popular demand we invited Tenebrae back to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of the great William Byrd. We also welcomed Helen Charlston back to close the Festival with a solo concert with theorbo player, Toby Carr, exploring the stories of women in war.

Other events we hope you enjoyed included:

A Visible THREAD exhibition

Fine Foundation Gallery,
Durlston Country Park,
Dorset BH19 2JL
from 16 May until 7 June 2023
open daily from 10:30am–5pm. Free to attend.

seam collective presents A Visible THREAD; an exhibition which explores the visibility and invisibility of thread.

Through their unique perspectives and a diverse range of textile disciplines, ten seam artists have created new works to stimulate thought, connection and conversation.

The exhibition aims to encourage viewers to rethink their relationship to thread, be aware of its materiality, its sustainability, its possibilities, and limitations. Thread, as cloth, is woven through our lives. It surrounds us like a second skin. Yet, precisely because of these close connections, it becomes almost invisible to us.

Rooted in craft techniques, work made with thread has historically been seen as ‘women’s work’, private, functional, decorative, and safe. Cloth itself is still considered a gendered material and there’s a gender divide between ‘high’ art and feminised craft. Whilst thread was, until recently, barely visible as a medium in contemporary fine art, the current national and international upsurge in major exhibitions shows thread emerging as an exciting and radical medium for expression.

Ahead of the curve, seam, a contemporary textile collective, has been provoking critical conversations about thread as a medium in contemporary fine art since their inception,10 years ago. The artists taking part are: Angie Parker, Helen MacRitchie, Jane Colquhoun, Joy Merron, Linda Row, Lou Baker, Lydia Needle, Nina Gronw-Lewis, Oliver Bliss and Penny Wheeler.

Further dates and venues for this touring exhibition will be released later in 2023.

Please see Durlston’s events guide for details about workshops led by seam members.

Website: seamcollective.org
Instagram: @seam_collective



Sandy Hill Arts have a comprehensive programme of workshops and events taking place during the Purbeck Arts Week Festival fortnight. Visit www.sandyhillarts.co.uk for full details.


A conversation with Robin Mackenzie and Heather Gibbons

Sunday 4th June 2023, 2pm,
The Belvedere,
Durlston Country Park,
Dorset BH19 2JL
Tickets: £5
Please book through Durlston: www.durlston.co.uk

Join printmaker Robin Mackenzie and painter Heather Gibbons, for a conversation with Durlston Ranger Ali Tuckey about their shared love of the Purbeck landscape and how they connect with and understand it through their artwork.

Purbeck Young Musicians

Monday 3rd July | 6.30pm
The Mowlem Theatre
Shore Road, Swanage, BH19 1DD
Tickets: £3, students free

Each year we celebrate the wonderful abilities of some of our best young local musicians. This year we welcome young musicians from a range of schools across Purbeck as well as local vocal and instrumental groups. We also feature some of the prize winners from the 2023 Rotary Young Musician Competition. Do join us as we celebrate our young talent.

As in previous years, to enable more young musicians to participate, this year’s evening takes place towards the end of term and after exams. You can book as soon as tickets become available to the general public on the Mowlem website: www.themowlem.com