Brean Down Fort Re-imagined

A group of artists will bring the story of Brean Down fort to life for the duration of Somerset Art Weeks (3 – 18 October). Led by Donna Vale, who runs “For Every Cloud” on Langport’s Bow Street, a ‘Sense of Place’ involves three other Somerset-based artists; Joy Merron, Amanda Boyd and Jon England all working alongside conservation scientist Matthew Bjerregaard from Visual Persistence and Melinda Watson from the RAW Foundation.

Each brings their own individual response to the history and life of Brean Down Fort through a series of large and small-scale installations. The aim of the project is to respond to the stories of the people, the landscape and the buildings; forming a connection to those who lived and worked at Brean Down. Past histories have been brought to life through the arts to capture the imagination of visitors.

“Brean Down never fails to amaze me,’ comments artist Donna Vale who came up with the initial concept of the project. She adds: ‘With its unique landscape and spectacular views, this really is an installation on the edge.” The art pieces range from textiles interwoven with narratives belonging to local voices, to a large animated Zoetrope to light the dark space.

In contrast, large-scale installations such as an extensive ‘fishing net’ web of mirrored and clear acrylic, perfectly captures the flash of sunlight on fish scales, sea spray and rolling waves. The flow of elements and livelihoods will be represented through the buildings, drifting across and between fort structures, reflecting a sense of fluidity and time; bridging the past and connecting the future.

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