One of the cornerstones of southwest England's thriving arts scene is the annual Delamore Arts indoor-outdoor exhibition that has been staged each May in the house and grounds of the historic Delamore estate near Ivybridge since 2003. Inaugurated to help promote the launch of the Dartmoor Trust, the show was intended as a one-off event but proved so popular that it was quickly made an annual one. Open to the public every day throughout the month, it has grown to feature 350-plus works by 100 artists and last year attracted more than 8,000 visitors from Britain and abroad.
Owned by the same family since 1688, Delamore remains a traditional Dartmoor agricultural estate run by Gavin Dollard, who inherited it in the early 2000s. He and his wife Nicola organise the show, which has grown to become the largest collection of living artists’ work to be displayed in one place anywhere in the southwest, with a particular attraction being the many outdoor sculptures to be found dotted around Delamore's rambling and attractive gardens (that are rarely open to the public).
The majority of the works, however, are displayed inside the light-filled reception rooms of the imposing Victorian gothic house and offer opportunities for every art collector’s pocket, with prices ranging from as little as £150 to more than £10,000. Among this year’s exhibitors is the aptly named Devonsculptress Nicola Axe who will be showing examples of her large-scale abstract figurative works made from Portland stone alongside smaller-scale sea creatures carved from serpentine and designed for indoor display.
Kerry Lloyd, who trained as an illustrator before embarking on an advertising career, now makes her living as an artist working in a unique style that combines soft black pencil with watercolour to create striking textured paintings with a playful slant that depict items such as children's building bricks, model vehicles and brightly coloured sweets.
Also showing at Delamore will be Tom Waugh MRSS, who uses salvaged stone and marble to carve hyper-realistic depictions of waste and rubbish and Andrew Thomas, an award-winning Dorset-based sculptor who is known for creating ethereal head studies using a variety of materials such as wood, bronze, copper, stone and stainless steel.