SOMERSET artists Gordon and Caron Coldwell are what you might term ‘artistic poachers’ who have turned ‘artistic gamekeepers’.

The husband and wife duo were both lecturers at Bridgwater College.

Gordon was Head of Art, Design & Media - Bridgwater College 1987-1996 and Marketing Manager - Bridgwater College 1996 - 2007.

While Caron was Associate Lecturer in Art & Design - Bridgwater College 1995-2006 but from 1990-91 she studied for a Foundation Course in Art & Design at Bridgwater College.

This was the first time Gordon and Caron had worked together, this was because Gordon was the teacher and Caron a mature student. They were married at the time this happy moment occurred.

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None of the students on the course knew their teacher was married to one of the students and it took them six months to discover the truth.

Not only was Gordon Caron’s teacher but he also designed and wrote the course she was doing.

After the left the college they have gone from teaching art to students to producing it themselves and literally living the lessons they taught others in the classroom to now practicing what they preached in their art studio.

Gordon has been a full time artist since 2014 and Caron has been a full time artist since 2011.

As he states in his bio, Gordon said: “My work is an eclectic mix of ‘unique evolutions’ with lots of autobiographical references.

“Much of my work is what might be described as ‘Art About Art’, multi-layered in construction and potential meaning.

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“Many of my artworks are made by importing original and sourced pictorial content into two kinds of image manipulating software, the composition is then constructed, developed and finessed digitally.

“I see the digital stage of my work as a form of ‘underpainting’...

when print outputted onto white Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper or stretched on canvas, there is then a final hand-painted development stage in which colour pigment and textural elements are added.”

Art for Gordon is a passion.

A passion which was born and grew while he was growing up in Newcastle.

He said: “It happened when I was 14 years old and I saw Rembrandt’s night watch.

“It made me feel incredible this was painted 400 years as it gave me such an emotional reaction.

“It was not about the scale of the art of the subject matter it was about the art.”

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The second pivotal moment came when Gordon saw an exhibition by Richard Hamilton and this gave him an entry into art which changed his life.”

In her bio Caron said: “Following my graduation, I worked primarily as a ‘Colourist’ painter, interested in capturing and conveying the memory of places.

“Most of my recent works are a significant departure from the preoccupations in earlier work, albeit that my painterly/ mark-making abilities and use of colour remain self evident.

“I think my more recent decorated paper cast spoons, utensils and pots works successfully blur the boundaries between fine art and craft – thematically, these works reference e.g. history, costume, style, TV, cinema etc... imagery that provokes a kind of cultural nostalgia.”

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For Caron, art is something which heightens her sense.

She said: “I look at things differently, I am aware of more and it allows me to see art in a different light.

“It is a lot more visual than you think and I look at it differently as it does heighten the senses.”

Speaking about his time at Bridgwater College, Gordon explained he took what he did very seriously and taught students who were not artists but engaged with them so they got the education they needed to be on the road to becoming artists.

He said: “I engages with them in the process of work so they moved towards an end product.

“This was important as they were not artists they were art students.

“I looked at art in four ways:

- research and investigation

- analysis n formulating ideas

- delivering the final product.

“Making art is a bit like cooking.

“You used the ingredients around you and take these to develop ideas and produce your art.”

Gordon explained for him art was ‘something he had to do’.

He added: “It was not just a job but it was a passion.

“I really enjoyed teaching but what I am doing now has given me lots of energy and has shown me what I was teaching the students was right.

“I do a lot of experimental work. I have learnt a lot about techniques and enjoy what I am doing.”

Gordon has exhibited (and on occasions won awards) at Worthing Museum & Art Gallery (West Sussex), Ilminster Arts Centre, The Tacchi Morris Centre (Taunton), The Sugar Cube Gallery (Hambridge), The Great Bow Wharf (Langport), Artifex Gallery (Sutton Coldfield) , Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton), Black Swan Arts Centre (Frome), The Atkinson Gallery (Millfield), Evolver Cover Exhibitions (Wessex), Bernie Grant Centre (Tottenham), Blue Cedar Printworks Gallery (Glastonbury)… and CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton).

As for Caron she explained she really enjoyed teaching and would not have missed that for the world.

She said: “As a teacher I got a lot out of the experience as you have to give ideas to students and help them with a huge range of techniques.

“It was a lot of work especially the marking which had to be done every day but I enjoyed the work.”

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Since graduating, Caron has exhibited and sold work in solo and group shows at: Bridgwater Arts Centre, Ilminster Arts Centre, The Sugar Cube Gallery, The Great Bow Wharf (Langport), Artifex Gallery (Sutton Coldfield) , Thelma Hulbert Gallery (Honiton)… and CICCIC (Creative Innovation Centre, Taunton).

Each of them have developed their own style of art and are following their heart in doing what they want to do and that is creating art.

Now they are both living the artistic dream.

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You can read all about their work online at This will give you an insight into what they do, their complete range of work, who has inspired them and a opportunity to find where either Gordon or Caron is holding their next exhibition Many of the artworks you will see on their website are for sale - commissions considered.