Art in Dunchurch 2021

04th of September 2021
So June arrived and with it once again Warwickshire Open Studios was up and running as lockdown began to ease. To celebrate the return of Art in Dunchurch Dazzler18 proudly presents… Art in Dunchurch 2021. Based jointly at Inglenook and the Fosse House Gallery, 18 artists and crafters gathered together over 3 weekends and a couple of Wednesdays to provide a much needed cultural boost for the art deprived Great British public (whoever they may be). As well as welcoming the public for Dazzler18 the most import bit of the whole thing was the chance to meet up with lovely friends, reacquaint himself with the group and welcome new members. This jam-packed representation includes references all of our wonderful Art in Dunchurch community, some bold and at the forefront and others more subtlety identifiable if you look closely. A super safe environment, and not a “ping” to be heard, we were all prepared, even Dazzler18 had an abundant supply of hand-sanitiser and sanitary wipes for anyone who needed one.
And jam-packed also reminds me of the bountiful supply of fabulous cakes on offer with the support of our wonderful volunteers at Café Couture in Julia and Paul’s back garden, an all-weather cafe with Paul’s resplendent blue Christo-inspired “rain-proof” canopy to top it off.
The weather (as usual) is a key determinant in the success of any outdoor venue and we had it all for the Summer Art weeks, cold grey starts, miserable rainy days, gloriously sunny days, swirling windy days and an impending thunderstorm on our final Saturday. Aaah, the four season Dunchurch microclimate. You can’t beat it. Nevertheless despite the meteorological mayhem, Art in Dunchurch was once again a roaring success and many a punter was amazed and pleased with the quality, diversity and talent of our local artists and some people even bought stuff.
So everyone check out the video below and watch Art in Dunchurch 2021 unfold before your very eyes.

The Guy Fawkes House

09th of July 2021
In the run up to Warwickshire Open Studios 2021 things were getting really exciting. Art in Dunchurch was to become a reality once again having been pandemically-postponed the year before. In honour of the event Dazzler18 had some thinking time to create something that would portray the pretty village of Dunchurch at its quintessential and historic best. What better than a portrayal of that arch drude of ‘treasonous’ intent - Guido Fawkes - himself?

Dunchurch, for those that don’t know, was the hot bed of activity of the famous gunpowder plotters determined to return England to its previous Catholic ways. As one of the main plotters, Guido (or Guy) was to amass gunpowder kegs under the network of tunnels under the Houses of Parliament in order to destroy the Protestant governance of King James on the state opening of Parliament, 5th November 1605. Then, alongside the other plotters of Robert Catesby and co., the plan was to kidnap the young Princess Elizabeth (James’ daughter), who was being educated at Coombe Abbey a few miles away past Brinklow en route to Coventry, and convert her to Catholicism. There is some evidence that the plotters met at the house which at that time was called ‘The Lion Inn’ (and sometimes the ‘Red Lion’) in order to plan their deadly deed; and Guido was meant to rendezvous with them post Boom to stir up rebellion in the Midlands and spread it round good and proper. Dunchurch was on a key road that intersected routes both North and South which made it an ideal meeting place. Of course, some sick, bum-licking King lovin’ dude snitched on Guido, the bombs never went off and the plotters were rounded up, often horribly tortured and killed. The rest, they say, is history…

This scene depicts the beautifully black-timbered Guy Fawkes House opposite the village green. Guido takes his place proudly on the Lord John Scott statue (which incidentally gets an annual fancy dress make over each Christmas by the never-seen Dunchurch fairies), foot on keg holding a Dazzler18 special in his left hand, with sword in the right. Those with a keen eye will recognise the V for Vendetta reference. In honour of its former name, Parsley the Lion from The Herbs, (quite possibly the most peaceful and laid back of lions that there ever was) peeks out meekly from behind the roof and chimneys. The scene contains many Dunchurch references including a titular spin on Dunchurch’s ongoing reputation for gold medal winning floral excellence… Dazzler18 presents you with Dunchurch in Boom. Oh, and there are some fireworks thrown in for good measure.

Deli-Licious! Mmmmmm...!

24th of April 2021
If you’ve ever been to the beautiful chocolate box English village of Broadway then you cannot have missed the fabulous Broadway Deli. Built around 17th Century from rich, golden Cotswold stone it was formerly a vicarage and then later in the 1960s it became St. Patrick’s Tea Rooms. The Deli has been well and truly Dazzler18’d with its blood orange sun and other fruit and veg going large in an attempt to draw in customers. Not that the Deli has to try too hard as it’s such a popular place. If you ever get to visit Broadway Village make sure you pay a visit to the Deli. It’s totally Deli-Licious! McDonalds it ain’t ;o)

Heart of England

29th of October 2020
When I got a message asking me to create an image as a ‘thank you’ card for the members for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists West Midlands Region I was delighted at being given the opportunity and proud to have been entrusted with the responsibility of bringing to life their ideas.

We set up a small project steering group in the autumn of 2020 to discuss the ideas for the design brief and to select the final design. The steering group were keen to incorporate a sense of hope and positivity that summed the spirit of the many occupational therapy workers in the West Midlands who had ‘stepped up’ and gone above and beyond their duty during the ongoing pandemic. Occupational therapists and their support staff are an incredibly important part of the health and social care workforce. They are often involved in supporting people to re-engage in meaningful everyday tasks such as getting back to work after an illness, looking after themselves at home or engaging in leisure to support their mental health and physical well-being.

After our discussions on what was important we agreed on a design that included many bright and colourful natural elements, a sense of spirituality, a sunflower sun, a rainbow arc and its symbolism of togetherness during the pandemic, a tranquil sea, an arrangement of meaningful ‘occupation’ focused signs in the centre, the names and postcodes of the main shires, cities and towns that made up the wider Midlands conurbation, natural elements such as trees, upturned hands that created the impression of a tree of life and a vibrant floral border.

With these ideas in mind I created the design that formed the basis of the final painting, the Heart of the Midlands. All of my sketches are just that- a rough and ready expression of ideas that is totally transformed during the watercolour process. This video shows the entire painting process through photos and time-lapse effects. It includes text commentary at various points to explain what I’m doing or what is influencing me at that particular point. Some artists don’t like being videoed whilst they paint but I find it really helpful to reflect back on choices that I’m making and how successful these have been and of course what I can do to improve my abilities of using this fascinating medium.

I hope you enjoy the video and if you would like to purchase a copy please check this website for further details or if you are interested in commissioning me to create something personal for you or your organisation just drop me a line at email@destructionarts.com

Jean’s Flowers

25th of April 2020
Jean’s Flowers is the second foray into an exploration of independent businesses in Rugby Town. This offering will be November in a forthcoming The Rugby Town calendar for 2021. Keep an eye on my DestructionArts YouTube channel and Instagram for updates...
Jean’s Flowers: From start to finish...
Music created, composed, performed and owned by Darren Awang