The large-scale event took place at Sculpture by the Lakes, Pallington near Dorchester as the COVID-19 lockdown eased.
Set in a vast 26-acre outdoor venue, the ticketed event had a visitor cap and a request for social distancing to ensure visitor, exhibitor and staff safety.
More than 40 artists and crafters from across Dorset exhibited over the three days, with a number of workshops and demonstrations taking place. Artists created work on-site in individual temporary studios allowing visitors to watch from a safe distance, while others set up their easels at spots across the picturesque location.
Internationally renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon and his wife Monique, co-owners of Sculpture by the Lakes had organised the event. The 26-acre gallery under the skies where more than 30 of Simon’s pieces are installed within spectacular gardens, is maintained by Monique and a team of gardeners.
On 5 July, around 700 people visited over the course of the day and visitors observed social distancing as they enjoyed the artwork spread over the site. The event got busier as the day wore on and by lunchtime a socially distanced queue had formed at the café, which was open for takeaway food and drinks. There was a water refill station for those who had brought their own bottles.
Simon, who has a long history of supporting and celebrating fellow artists, featuring their work in The Barn Gallery and The Gallery Cafe at Sculpture by the Lakes, said before the event, “Dorset Arts Festival will be a true celebration of Dorset’s expansive artistic talent. All of the artists exhibiting are incredibly talented and you’ll be able to watch them in action creating their masterpieces, which is not something you get to see every day. We hope the festival will bring some welcome relief to those looking for an uplifting experience away from the crowds.”
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