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The exhibition Angels, Buckets and Bells in the downstairs rooms at Swindon MAG is a creative response to St. Mary’s Lydiard Tregoze, one of Swindon’s most historic and beautiful buildings. The Grade 1 listed church  was awarded funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2018 to conserve its medieval wallpaintings, monuments and decorative schemes. It brings together the sketches and finished work created by the project’s Artists in Residence, Felicity Cormack and Judy Thomson, which will be exhibited alongside treasures from the church.

I went along to the opening night recently and thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition, Judy’s work is on the right as you go into the museum, and Felicity’s is on the left. I was so intrigued by their responses to St.Mary’s that I didn’t really pay much attention to the treasures exhibited in the cabinets, and must go back for another look. All work is for sale.

 The woodcut print seen above titled ‘Buckets at Lydiard Tregoze’ is one of Felicity’s, and below only just about visible because of reflections is the original woodcut. It depicts workers seen during the restoration project when they carried buckets of water in and out of the church.

 ‘Bell Ringers’ seen below is another of Felicity’s woodcut prints…

…and here’s the original woodcut with a bell ringing rope…

Here’s a photo of Felicity discussing her work…

…and a photo of Sue beside some of Felicity’s charcoal drawings.

 The opening night was very well attended, and as usual, there were drinks and nibbles and speeches. Here’s Sarah Finch-Crisp, below, talking about the project at St.Mary’s and this particular part of it. The church received its first grant in 2016, and they have now had the second amount, with work due to be completed by the middle of this year.

And onto Judy’s work. This mixed media piece, ‘North Tombs’ really stands out.

 And this piece in one of the cabinets depicts the inside of the church when there was scaffolding in there. Judy said they couldn’t go and draw when people were working there in the week, so went at weekends. This piece might be ‘Looking up the Aisle’ and it’s metalpoint I think, it’s really fine drawing and is amazingly detailed.

These are a mixture of cyanotypes…

…and this is ‘South Window Angel’ a unique cyanotype print.

As you can see, I need to visit the exhibition again when I’m not in a hurry and there’s more room to move and have a proper look at it and gain an understanding of what’s in there.

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