The PAW Festival

Welcome to Purbeck Art Weeks!

In 2023 we again celebrated a rich array of open studios, exhibitions and events – thanks to the involvement of the whole community and a dedicated Festival team.

Our artists’ Open Studios were open for you to explore – painters, sculptors, textile artists, metal and glass artists, ceramicists and wood workers all welcomed you. Rollington Barn (near Corfe Castle) hosted our collective Exhibition showcasing a huge range of work from our many PAW artists, new and more established. This was an excellent place to start your visit – here you found up-to-date information, a large map, and mouth-watering refreshments in the courtyard café. In the popular Pop Up Studio various artists demonstrated ways of working with different materials, and in the adjacent byre you were able to enjoy the imaginative work created by young people participating in our Purbeck Young Artists’ workshops.

Alongside the visual arts there was an exciting programme of Events. This included the welcome return of Tenebrae, The Gesualdo Six – an award winning vocal ensemble, and a fascinating concert exploring the stories of women in war. A performance of ‘Hildegard Transfigured’ included live visuals, text and music, celebrating 12th century composer and visionary Hildegard von Bingen, and, as usual, The Purbeck Poets hosted their evening of poetry in the Globe Inn.

We also had our new and exciting ‘Portraiture Celebration’ – a collaborative venture with Mowlem Visual Arts. This series of events included an exhibition, a competition for young people, a live portrait painting event, and a talk by our PAW President, the distinguished Sculptor Philip Jackson plus a panel discussion.

With our brochure this year we were trying to be more eco-friendly, with sustainably produced paper and biodegradable inks, and a reduction in the amount we got printed. We hope you liked our new-look brochure – and that it made it even easier for you to enjoy all aspects of the PAW Festival!

Charlotte Heath Chair, Purbeck Art Weeks Festival

FOREWORD by the Festival President

I noticed that in my foreword last year I started by saying that we celebrate this year the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Little did anyone think that a year later we would be celebrating King Charles’s Coronation; demonstrating both continuity and change. What a difference a year makes.

The PAW Festival also demonstrates continuity and change. Taking the best and most popular events of previous years and adding exciting new events, the PAW team again put together a really exciting fortnight of concerts, exhibitions, demonstrations and experiences for everyone to enjoy. This year the Festival also became more environmentally friendly; using sustainably produced paper, a different brochure format and in many other small ways.

Last year, visitors let PAW Festival know how much they loved visiting studios and seeing artists demonstrating their skills and talking about the mechanics of their art. So this year, there was more of these fascinating encounters in studios dotted around the beautiful Purbeck countryside, and in the Pop Up studio at Rollington Barn. The Festival was also very excited to have a new partnership initiative with The Mowlem, celebrating the art of the portrait and involving some distinguished artists, plus a panel discussion, and portrait competition for young people. And, complementing all of this, was a programme of concerts by hugely talented musicians, to contemplate with, and be transported by, in various venues.

My thanks once again to the wonderful, energetic and talented team that put together this year’s events.

It was a great PAW Festival.

Philip Jackson CVO DL MA FRBS

Past Brochures

The free PAW brochure contains everything a visitor needs to know about the Festival fortnight: exhibitions, Open Studios, events, and community projects. Every participating artist will have their contact details included in the brochure and most will also have an illustration of their work too. Click on the covers to have a look at some of our recent past brochures to see what we were doing.

Past Events Programmes

Every year we strive to bring you the most comprehensive Events programme possible. Please click on the covers to have a look at some of our recent past programmes and if you would like to receive information about our Festivals in advance please click here. If you would like to become a Friend and enjoy priority booking for our Events and for our winter series of Chamber Music in Purbeck Houses, please click here.

Past Brochure Covers