A nautical-themed arts trail

Totterdown Front Room Arts trail artwork by Lisa Ravenscroft of LongmooseTotterdown Front Room Arts Trail erupts from 23rd till 25th November 2018 with a nautical theme – perfect for stirring imaginations in the harbourside city of Bristol!

The theme, Arts Trail organiser Gaily Orr admits, was inspired by last year’s torrential rain.

“We thought we should roll with the tide!” She exclaims. In addition, it’s a nod to Bristol’s history. “Bristol’s fortunes have been won and lost at sea and we wanted to celebrate our city’s connection with the great blue in the overriding theme of the Arts Trail.”

Never been to an art trail? This is a great one to dip your toe (or jump head first) into. The first to appear in Bristol almost two decades ago, it offers a chance for artists to showcase their work within their own homes as well as shared spaces, and for us public to a) enjoy said art, and b) get away with being nosy about other people’s décor to our heart’s content.

Each year the Arts Trail attracts thousands of visitors coming from across the city and beyond.” It’s a fantastic opportunity for local artists to display their work to the public, and it’s also a great opportunity for the public to visit, view, discuss and buy original works of arts and crafts directly from the artist.”

There’s also potential for lots of inspiration gleaning, not to mention a golden opportunity to start the Christmas shopping with some one-off originals.

Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail is on from 23rd-25th November 2018. Find full details at frontroom.org.uk. The gorgeous artwork at the top of this post is the official Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail artwork by Lisa Ravenscroft of Longmoose.

Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail_cr Judy Darley

Bristol art – Autumn 2018

Before Nightfall by Nigel Shipley

Before Nightfall by Nigel Shipley

There’s so much art happening in Bristol at present that I barely know where to look first. Last weekend (6th-7th Oct 2018) was Art on the Hill – the ever-inspiring Windmill Hill and Victoria Park arts trail. The Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail will follow from 23rd till 25th November. Can’t wait!

Prior to that, HOURS Gallery is hosting Daydreams, an exhibition of Nigel Shipley‘s abstract paintings, accompanied by music and readings of poetry created in response to the works. Sounds really intriguing! I love work that transcends form in this way. The performers are all members of Bristol Tonic.

Bristol Tonic poet

  • Date: Saturday 13th October 2018
  • Venue: HOURS Gallery, 10 Colston Yard, Bristol BS1 5BD (HOURS is in Colston Yard, accessed from the top of Colston Street, through an archway between Bike Workshop and Blaze)
  • Times: Gallery open from 10am-10pm. Performance from 7-8pm. The exhibition can be viewed by appointment until 1st November, ring 07909874586 to arrange this.
  • For more details, go to: www.nigelshipley.com
Wind by Yurim Gough, part of her Elements artwork

Wind by Yurim Gough, part of her Elements artwork

And the RWA’s wonderful Open Exhibition has launched, revealing a spectacular array of works, including Yurim Gough‘s ‘Four Elements’. Definitely one for your calendar! The show is on until 25th November 2018.

Judy Darley in Redcliffe Caves

If you’re seeking further inspiration, don’t forget Bristol Festival of Literature, running from 19th-28th October. I’ll be reading in Redcliffe Caves on Tuesday 23rd October as a guest of Bristol Writer’s Group for an event titled Dark Confessions. There are masses of other curious happenings too, so I’m hoping to get to as many as possible. Hope to see you at an event or two!

Leave your hat on

#HappytoesTotterdown Front Room Arts Trail gets underway today with a hat-themed extravaganza of art, music and lots of cake.

This year there will also be free taster sessions in a range of creative pastimes, from silk painting to needle felting to (ooh, dizzy with anticpation!) messy art play for adults!

Turning the hat theme on its head, I’m sticking my foot in with a scattering of mini-socks emblazoned with positive messages (and an assorted of tootsie-related puns – thanks Zan!) that I’m hoping will make people smile. If you spot one, feel free to take it home with you to remind you that there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful. Even better, tweet me @JudyDarley with the hashtag #happytoes to let me know.

Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail is on from 20th-22nd November 2015. Find full details at frontroom.org.uk.

Short story readings this weekend

Art trails in Bristol have developed to include musicians and others performers, which is great – especially as I now seem to fall under the category ‘other performers’!

Totterdown Front Room Art Trail artworkI and a couple of writer friends will be reading short stories and novel extracts as part of Totterdown Front Room Arts Trail, 15-17 November 2013. It’s aimed at grown ups (though children won’t be scarred too badly if you bring them along). After all, why should kids be the only ones to get to enjoy being read to?

Writers Judy Darley, Helen Blenkinsop and Suzanna Stanbury

That’s us, just above. I’m the one on the far left.

Remember-Me-To-The-Bees-cover-smlWe have two performance slots at the Cinema on the Green, Higham Street, in Totterdown, from 1-2.30pm on the Saturday and from 1-1.45pm on the Sunday. Find out more. I’ll be reading stories from my collect Remember Me To The Bees, which will be fresh off the presses!

I hope to see you there!