Thursday, 11 June 2015

Joyce Dennys cards on sale at Fairlynch

Few local artists are as well known in Budleigh Salterton for their keen eye and their witty portrayal of small town life as Joyce Dennys, whose achievements were celebrated recently with the installation of a blue plaque at Lion House, her former home on Fore Street Hill.


Joyce Dennys died in 1991 after a remarkable career as book illustrator, wartime poster designer, novelist, playwright and of course painter. Some of her paintings are owned by Budleigh Salterton Town Council and hang in the Public Hall, while others are on display at Fairlynch Museum.   

Early in 1995, the Museum commissioned a professional photographer to produce prints of seven of her paintings. The most successful prints would be used for the production of greetings cards, for sale at Fairlynch. The cards have proved so popular that a new batch has been produced and are now on sale at the Museum.

The example seen above is part of a series of mermaid-themed fantasy images in a local setting that Joyce Dennys completed. This particular scene, identifiable as Budleigh beach, was painted as a mural in the bathroom of Lion House.

Dick Edmunds is seen, left, next to Joyce Dennys in a 1961 amateur production of the 1950s play All for Mary written by Kay Bannerman and Harold Brooke 

Like some of the artist’s other work involving mermaids, it features a white-moustachioed elderly gentleman being led astray.   

Some locals believe that the character was modelled on Dick Edmunds, who had appeared in amateur dramatic productions with Joyce Dennys. But the artist always denied such rumours.

The greetings cards are on sale for £2.00 each, only at the Museum. You can buy a set of three for £5.00.  

Monday, 8 June 2015

Museum stars in tale of Jurassic Coast heroes

The second book of the Budding Creativity project managed by Budleigh Salterton Decorative & Fine Arts Society was launched on 1 June at the town’s St Peter’s Church. 

It features the same young Budleigh heroes Peter, Caroline, Eddie and Bud the dog, whose adventures were the basis of the first book in the series. The Times of their Lives takes the reader on a trip back to the age of Queen Elizabeth I. Which ties in rather well with the opening earlier this year of the Sir Walter Ralegh Room at Fairlynch Museum.

Artist Jed Falby's mural shows the young Budleigh heroes passing through the time portal in All Saints Church where they enter the colourful age of the Tudors 

Sir Walter, Sir Francis Drake, Queen Elizabeth herself and even William Shakespeare all make an appearance in this ripping yarn where imagination plays as important a part as historical fact. 

We learn for example that Fairlynch Museum’s thatched roof was paid for by the sale of a Shakespeare sonnet, written on parchment and discovered by the young heroes following their return to the 21st century from the age of the Tudors.

HMS Ark Royal in Simon Wood's pebble art on Budleigh Salterton beach. The Elizabethan ship was originally built for Sir Walter Ralegh and named Ark Ralegh

The Times of their Lives was composed by pupils from St Peter’s School in Budleigh Salterton, Drake’s School in East Budleigh, Otterton School, and The Maynard School in Exeter. Members of Exmouth Community College and Colyton Grammar School also contributed to the murals and film which accompanied the book’s publication.  

Budleigh pebble artist Simon Wood was another contributor. His creations have been likened in the local press to the work of Banksy. Click here to read more about that. 

The Times of their Lives is on sale at £5.00 at various outlets in Budleigh Salterton, including the Tourist Information Centre and Fairlynch Museum.