The Project

Carlotta’s trail will celebrate links with art
By Ceri Rees

PURBECK artist Carlotta Barrow is creating an artists’ trail in Swanage.

She got the idea for the Swanage Art Project while on a trip to Dieppe in France and decided that the area’s strong ties with nationally prominent artists justified further investigation.

She has already attracted funding for several boards in the town, each of which includes a biography and a portrait of a featured artist.

She said: “The idea was to do a painting using the specific trails the artists painted from.

“Paul Nash began his surrealism in Swanage in the 1930s. I also discovered that Augustus John had stayed in my house in 1901 with Charles Condor, while on a painting trip, and Mark Gertler, who was part of the Bloomsbury set.

“There was a big arts movement down here at one time.

“The first three art boards are of Walter Field, Charles Conder and Paul Nash and I am preparing the display boards for Augustus John, Mark Gertler and Graham Sutherland.”

She added: “We are still waiting to hear back from Swanage Town Council regarding the siting of the trail.”

Carlotta, a painter and sculptress, is hoping to secure full planning permission for the location of at least 10 boards.

She has already secured funding from the Scarman Trust and the Community Champions Scheme to the tune of £1,670.

The project, unofficially launched at Peveril Point earlier this month, could – if Carlotta gets her way – be extended to incorporate a Purbeck or Swanage art week and a summer arts competition, which has involved a team of dedicated artists.

Among the collaborators are local photographers Paul Angel and Richard Jeffery, co-ordinator Nick Goulding, writer Peter Cooper, Harry Bell, who owns the Mulberrytree Gallery, and writer Janet Watts, who has written biographies of Charles Condor and Mark Gertler.


With initial funding from The Scarman Trust, Community Champions project, the first three Artists have been researched, copyrights granted and are ready for placement, being reverse printed on resistant acrylic.  The next three Artists have been individually sponsored by private patrons and are now also completed. These 6 display boards are now on show at Coffee Heaven, where there was an opening at the start of Dorset Arts Week, May bank holiday. Jim Knight MP came to see the Art Trail there and has given us his support. Possible sites have been identified, where planning permission would seem to be favourable.  The method of display would fit the site, either wall mounted, free standing or incorporated in a local stone plinth sympathetic to the surroundings. These have been designed and working drawings are available.


Once the Artist Display boards are in place the management should create little problem. The acrylic on which they are printed are weather, UV & vandal proof. The Stone plinths would be sturdy and any boards attached to the wall would be secure. Replacement would cost little, for once the display is designed and the copyright permission given, the actual printing is reasonable.


A Swanage Seen, art trail map and guide is now being designed. This too needs funding!