Big Picture is a collaboration of seven visual arts organisations and professionals in Dorset working with
Dorset County Council to develop vibrant visual arts in the county. Its members are
Artsreach, b-side, Bridport Arts Centre, Dorset Visual Arts, PVA MediaLab,
Sherborne House Arts and Walford Mill Crafts.
The collaboration came together in 2009. It is working with a wider group of visual arts organisations across
Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole and linking with the Turning Point South West steering group.
Big Picture creates new opportunities for audiences, artists and cultural workers to make and to interpret the
visual arts and crafts in Dorset. It provides a framework for cultural organisations in Dorset to work together
and bring great art to everyone.
Our objectives are to:
- Develop curatorial skills, knowledge, excellence and innovation;
- Provide new opportunities for audiences to engage with contemporary visual art, craft and new media in Dorset.
- Support the production and presentation of new high quality work by national and international artists;
- Understand and engage new audiences for the visual arts;
- Facilitate the accessible interpretation of contemporary visual arts practice;
- Develop commercial opportunities and the marketplace for artists;
- Pool organisational resources to extend opportunities;
- Promote the exchange and interaction of resources between organisations, for regional, national and international collaboration and partnership.
Big Picture Partners
Artsreach organises a varied programme of touring visual art exhibitions which circulate to village halls,
rural galleries, and other venues throughout rural Dorset. These include contemporary craft shows and
thematic exhibitions bringing together contemporary and traditional work and collaborations with national
and regional artists. Artsreach also manages a range of visual arts projects and residencies working with
community groups and artists throughout rural Dorset.
b-side is a partnership organisation established to develop new creative talent and commission new interdisciplinary, site-based
work from artists that animate public spaces in Weymouth and Portland.
b-side aims to encourage audiences to ‘encounter' contemporary art in unexpected and innovative ways, ensuring that these 'encounters' are
fruitful, engaging and sustainable for artists and audiences alike.
Bridport Arts Centre promotes the arts in West Dorset, delivering a diverse professional performing and
visual arts programme. It also runs an extensive programme of community activities with a particular
emphasis on activities for young people.
Dorset Visual Arts is a large, open, membership organisation designed to promote the work of artists,
designers and makers. It manages exhibitions, events, websites and projects. Its core activities are
the huge, biennial Dorset Art Weeks and Art Trails. DVA increasingly works through partnerships to
increase the effectiveness of the visual arts regionally.
The Oliver Holt Gallery at Sherborne School supports innovative ways of making and interpreting art.
The gallery creates new opportunities for national and international artists and audiences through site, material, context and learning.
PVA MediaLab has established itself at the heart of artist led activism in the UK, working directly
with artists to produce new, interdisciplinary work. The organisation's strategic role is to encourage
a broad and diverse range of participants and audiences to engage in creative activities that involve digital media.
SHA is an artist led organisation that curated the visual arts programme at Sherborne House in Dorset.
Its aims are to present exhibitions and projects that reflect current visual art practice, encourage
dialogue and develop opportunities for the creation of new work. Although currently unable to present
an arts programme at Sherborne House, SHA will continue to promote contemporary visual art in the region.
Walford Mill Crafts provides the focus for encouraging, promoting and maintaining the highest standards
of contemporary craft work in the region. It aims to encourage audience awareness through its exhibitions
and participation for all ages in a complimentary education programme. It also offers contemporary craft
works for sale in the craft shop.