TWO arts organisations have joined forces to create a unique exhibition inspired by poet Edward Thomas.

Somerset Art Works and Black Swan Arts in Frome are hosting a SAW Member’s exhibition from the beginning of April.

The exhibition,In Pursuit of Spring, has been inspired by Thomas' account of his journey by bicycle between London and Somerset to meet the arrival of spring in 1913.

Responding to various themes in Thomas’ book, In Pursuit of Spring, such as hope, change and renewal, around 50 Somerset Art Works members have created artwork to illustrate the Somerset leg of Thomas’ journey.

He enters the county near Farleigh Hungerford and travels west through Norton St Philip, Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury, eventually arriving on Cothelstone Hill in the Quantocks on March 28, as the storm clouds of the Great War gathered.

The work will be displayed alongside excerpts from the book, which is published by Little Toller Books in Dorset.

A spokesperson for Somerset Art Works said: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, the natural world has been an important consolation for many of us.

“Now, when we all need a sense of hope and renewal, Thomas’ descriptions of springtime Somerset – the ‘noble elms’, verdant banks teaming with celandine, pennywort and cranesbill, the calls of larks and linnets – are a poignant reminder of the beauty of our county.

“This exhibition brings together Thomas’ text with contemporary images and representations of Somerset, and is a wonderful way to celebrate the re-launch of Black Swan Arts – almost 108 years to the day since Thomas completed his journey.”

Black Swan Arts will host an online exhibition from the beginning of April, and the shop will re-open on April 12 (subject to Government guidelines) with a limited selection of works on display.

The full exhibition will then open on May 17.

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