Sladers Yard Gallery, West Bay

Until 1 November

BR Rating ***

By Katie Brent

The larger-scale collages of Marzia Colonna’s work draw you in as you enter the space; an intriguing blend of greens and brown against a blue-sky background. The subject matter of rocks and trees suits the style of layered, painted paper overlaid to create a sense of distance and depth to the work.

The colours of yellow ochre and burnt sienna work well in the Tuscan landscapes, broken up by the vertical patterns of crops to describe the foreground.
Colonna draws inspiration for her collages from her surroundings in the coastal landscape here and in her native Italy. Her use of colour in the landscapes is carefully observed, as in Burton Bradstock Beach, a smaller collage which captures the familiar sandstone cliff-face and blue sky. The scale really works well with the collage technique, creating a sense of reality with a subtle blend of tones and textures.

Upstairs, the stand-out piece is Fishing Nets in Cochin. Here, Colonna captures the sense of the breeze and atmosphere perfectly, the painted grey of the sky in harmony with the collaged nets and foreground in gentle hues of greens, browns and greys.

There is looseness and freedom, which is impressive as the creation of the work must have been so carefully considered.

In the restaurant are a number of Gicleé prints that work very well, the best being West Bay. Again, the use of composition, colour and collage work in harmony.

Interestingly, the collection of water-colour floral pieces that hang opposite could have been painted by another artist. Bright, lively colours set against a white background present a sharp contrast to the complex layers and tones of the collages occupying the same space.

By |September 28th, 2015|Art, Katie Brent|0 Comments

Soak me in a wave of sound

Gill Capper samples an unusual but wonderful therapy

What on earth is a sound bath? I used to ask this question every time I got a What’s-On email from the Chapel in the Garden. Now I know: it’s a wonderful experience that’s almost impossible to describe.

Fundamentally, it’s simple. You lie on a mat, all cosied up with a pillow and a blanket, and you listen to – or rather, absorb – the sounds and frequencies of a 45-minute improvisation on Nepalese gongs, Himalayan singing bowls and other unusual ancient instruments played by local musician Jane Saunders.

But there’s more to it than that. Jane is a classically trained musician. After years of playing the oboe in orchestras and teaching music in schools, she came to Bridport in 2008 and began performing on the harp and saxophone and collaborating with Bridport musicians Rob Lee, Emma McEvoy and David Squirrell.

But by 2012 she had become a carer for her mum and was also running singalongs and musical exercise classes for the elderly at Sydney Gale, Chancery House and The Hyde.

“During that time, I became much more aware of how therapeutic sound could be,” Jane said. “And then, one day online, I spotted this fantastic course for using sound and voice to heal the body and the mind.” She signed up for a two-year course and in 2014 became a fully-qualified group sound therapy practitioner.

“Each of the instruments I use is tuned to a different frequency,” she said. “And their different pitches relate directly to the major organs in the body.” Science recognises these days that sound frequencies can have a profound effect on even the very cell structure of the body, so Jane uses as many different sounds as possible, simultaneously. And she tailors her improvisations intuitively to the people in the room.

People come for different reasons. Some approach it as a meditation. (In America, sound baths are being hailed as the new meditation.) But often people come with back pain or hip problems, even Parkinson’s. “One man had a pronounced Parkinson’s shake and it stopped completely for long periods of the session,” Jane said. “And it’s fantastic for back pain. People are very clear about it. They come with pain and then it’s gone.”

The effect is certainly astonishing. The two largest gongs (called the sun and wind gongs) are as big as dustbin lids – “I would like five more!” Jane said – and I found myself both thrilled and a little frightened by their power. Jane started the session gently but she built the sounds into something so harmonically complex and immersive that I could feel the vibrations ebbing and flowing deep inside my body and my mind.

By the end – when the sounds had wound down to the gentle pattering of rain sticks – I felt I had been thoroughly rinsed and washed. I went home feeling wonderfully calm but also sharply alert. And I slept like a baby. My neighbour and fellow sound bather, Nico, who attends regularly, says it makes him feel “as if I have been completely re-set”.

Try it. I guarantee it will be something you have never experienced before.

Sound Baths take place in the Yellow Room upstairs at the Chapel in the Garden in East Street, every two weeks on a Thursday at 6.30 sharp (no entry to latecomers) and it costs £8. The next one is on Thursday 24 September.

Jane also does one-to-one sound therapy and can be contacted on 01308 485084 or 07976731331

By |September 18th, 2015|Gill Capper|1 Comment

Martin Maudsley

Martin MaudsleyStory Café
Bridport Arts Centre
Friday 18 September 7.30pm
Tickets: £7/£5

Martin Maudsley, the renowned and charismatic storyteller who has recently moved to the Bridport area, brings Wayland the Smith, a stirring Norse saga, and other tales of transformation to the Arts Centre café.

Suitable for adults and older children.

By |September 14th, 2015|Bridport Arts Centre|0 Comments

Democracy in Bridport

Opening Celebration
Bridport Arts Centre
Tuesday 15 September 6pm-8pm
Refreshments provided

The Democracy in Bridport Project, which has received funding from the Arts Council, opens the first of many planned public events with a Timeline created by Dave Rickard, Rebecca Garner, Robert Golden and kids from various local schools, as well as an exhibition of Portraits of Our Neighbours, which is on display in the Arts Centre café.


By |September 14th, 2015|Coming Soon|1 Comment

Bridport Review – Fun Hat Pick

Foam fish & chips made and modelled by Anita Count. She won third prize but surely should have been first in the Fun Hat category.Hat Seagull

By |September 11th, 2015|Stop Press|0 Comments