offical Bruton Town website - photo by Gareth Griffiths
23 October 2019 12°C



Black Swan Arts Centre, a major South West Arts venue in Frome, is presenting a ‘Secret Swans’ Art Trail around the town to celebrate Black Swan’s 30th anniversary. This free, fun event will be part of Frome Festival & Open Studios, running from 1 to 10 July.

The Trail comprises 30 swan-themed artworks all in different media and styles. Sculpture, drawing, painting, print, textiles, ceramics, light and other surprising forms will be on display at 30 venues around Frome, such as shops, cafés, public buildings and outdoor locations. Internationally acclaimed Tessa Farmer (whose work features in many collections worldwide including the Saatchi) returns to Frome with her unique and extraordinary work featuring tiny malevolent imps. Just back from exhibiting in the USA, sculptor Edgar Phillips will show his magnificent steel and glass wings. Multi-award-winner Alicia Merrett’s astonishing quilt on the theme of the Sweet Swan of Avon will be displayed.

Frome and the surrounding area is rich in artistic talent, with many of the best contributing new work for this event: Ian Marlow ARBS, who created the massively popular Bishop’s Palace Swan ‘Guinevere’; printmaker Bronwen Bradshaw of Dove Studios with ‘Amazing Space’; Chris Lee (of wobbly stool renown); Nina Gronw-Lewis, who runs the Courthouse Gallery, Somerton, uses found materials, subverting their former use; sculptor Fiona Campbell (step in stone artist/curator), Frome Open Studios artist/co-ordinator Caroline Walsh-Waring, willow sculptor Angela Morley and Frome jewellers Linda Sandeman and Yasemin Sweet, who have collaborated on a specially designed silver item. Pupils from All Hallows Prep School have worked with Fiona Campbell to produce a group wire piece as one of the trail artworks.

The Secret Swans Trail hopes to raise much-needed funds — sales being split between the artists and Black Swan. This is an opportunity for families, art-lovers, school groups and adventurers to explore Frome, discover and buy intriguing collectable artworks.

Visitors can make secret auction bids for the work at each trail venue and winning bidders will be notified at the end of the festival. Starting prices should suit all pockets, ranging from £20 to £1000s. Trail leaflets — available from Black Swan and Frome library during the festival — will list artists and venues separately, hence the element of secrecy. The challenge is to match the two. Badges will be awarded to everyone who identifies all 30 artworks and there will be the opportunity to enter a prize draw at the Black Swan. Venues include Rook Lane Chapel, Black Swan Arts, the riverbank by Cheese and Grain and Frome Museum.

Organiser Nick Weaver says: ‘It’s been wonderful to see the variety of interpretations of the swan theme and the quality of work by some great artists. Visitors are in for a treat!’

For further information about all events visit:

Fiona Campbell (Black Swan trustee): 880394/07515 537224
Emma Warren/Paul Newman (office managers): 472264
Nick Weaver (Secret Swans coordinator): email:

Event: Black Swan Arts Secret Swans Art Trail — 30-Year Anniversary Celebrations
Location: Black Swan Arts, 2 Bridge Street, Frome BA11 1BB