autumn breezes in for September

Oliver Dunn with Tina in the gallery

There is definitely a nip in the air and Autumn seems to be on its way. There is certainly an autumnal feeling to the artworks now on display in beloved@thebarn throughout September.

Guest artist for September is Oliver Dunn, a primary school art teacher and graphic designer from Staffordshire. Oliver has had a lifelong obsession for an enchanted woodland or desolate moor, a magical copse or isolated tree, and he loves to pass that curiosity on to his pupils as well as in his own creative expression.

As soon as I saw photographs of Oliver’s work taken by his friend Richard Stewart, who lives in Newark, I knew they would be perfect for September in the gallery. Oliver’s passions for graphic art and nature create the most beautiful atmospheric artworks and his mixed media approach highlights the textural qualities and diffuse light of his natural subject matter.

“I am very exploratory in my use of materials to create my artworks,” explains Oliver. “I’m naturally curious and draw inspiration from the rugged natural landscape of the peak district, especially woodland areas where the weather perpetually changes the dramatic effects of light. A forest can appear reassuring and uplifting but as light shifts and fades, moments later can also evoke a sense of unknown foreboding.”

Oliver has exhibited work in various venues including Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Leek Nicholson Museum & Art Gallery, Hanley Museum & Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum & Art Gallery, Keele University Art Gallery and Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh. He has work in private collections in the UK.

Come and see these amazing and totally unique creations and snap up a piece of original art for a beautiful investment in your home.

August exhibition Woman InBloom





Our guest artist for August is conceptual artist and photographer, Jo Munks.

Jo’s exhibition is exploring what it means to be a woman, the perceptions, labels and expectations of womanhood. Much of her work is inspired by experimentation with meanings and materials including flowers, fruit and female mannequins.

Jo’s exhibition will also be a work in progress as she will be creating new pieces at beloved throughout August, culminating in a finale on the Bank Holiday weekend to coincide with the Southwell Music Festival and the Ceramics in Southwell event.

Do come and see these incredible creations up close and personal. This is just as good as anything you will see at the Royal Academy.

There will be two fabulous events happening during the exhibition:

Evening talk by Jo about her artistic practice and the thinking behind the exhibition on Thursday 16 August (tickets £5 in advance, £8 on the night, places limited to 20). To book email Tina or call 07519 826819 or pop into beloved.

Drop-in collage for children (over 8 yrs) and their well behaved parents on Saturday 18 August from 1pm to 4pm (£10 per adult to cover materials, children free). Create your own collage masterpiece to take away.

Scrap books ancient and modern

My Mum has this Scrap Album from the 1870s – a most wonderful piece of history full of drawings, stickers, and the most beautiful handwriting. Gone are the days when we learnt to create such beautiful script at school! Can children even write by hand theses days?


Keeping scrapbooks was a popular past time in Victorian times to collect and  save images, poems, quotes, stories etc. and of course scrapbooking and journaling has become an art form today.

Here are some of the fabulous creations were made on our Introduction to Creative Journaling day inspired by the idea of a gratitude journal.

If you’d like to join our journaling group and get twice-weekly prompts and ideas for your own journals then email me and I’ll send you the appropriate info!

workshops galore for July

Treat yourself to a one day creative workshop this summer – we have lots to choose from! Check out the workshop pages for full details.

Jewellery workshops on July 3 and 24
Making your business plans come alive with creative journalling on July 4
Playing with Polyfilla and Mixed Media on July 8
creative journalling for beginners July 22

Celebrating Open Studios

Sarah Flanagan painting in the style of Van Gogh

May is Open Studios month across Nottinghamshire and we’re celebrating here at beloved with an exhibition of artists and creators from Southwell and Upton who are opening their studios on the late Bank Holiday weekend 26 – 28 May.

beloved@thebarn will be open 10 am to 5pm Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the Bank Holiday Weekend



On that weekend we’ll also have a number of artists at beloved@thebarn doing their ‘thing’ – photography, painting, collage, playing with mixed media materials, music and more.

All weekend
The Dream Tree – Life is Art; Paint Your Dreams
Collage your dream on a recycled CD and either hang it on our branch for all to share or take it home to keep inspiring you.  This activity is suitable for children.

Meet Claude – our avant guarde pooch and have a selfie with him. Claude is guarding our entry to the Gate to Southwell Festival ‘Decorate a Gate’ competition.

Art materials to test and buy – a chance to top up your creative toy box.

Hay at the Barn – a second-hand book stall to celebrate all things literary to coincide with the annual Hay Festival which runs from 24 May to 3 June.

Heart Art by Gilly Walker

 11 am – 1pm  Gilly Walker will be doing land art photography creating compositions with  pebbles, leaves and other natural materials.

1pm Rhydian Hapgood and Tim Hull of Six String Theory will be sharing their hauntingly beautiful acoustic music – ahead of their gig at Southwell library on June 9.

Through the day, Sarah Flanagan will demonstrate painting in the style of The Old Masters in acrylics. In the afternoon, Jo Munks will be doing easy mixed media work, sharing some rules for combining colours and weighting compositions to create pleasing results.


A segment of artwork created by Tina Bettison using Polyfilla

We will be playing with Polyfilla and other mixed media materials creating an abstract artwork.  Tina and Sarah will be also showing how you can recycle everyday stuff around the house to make your own collaged works of art.



11 am – 12.30 pm  Gilly Walker will be doing land art photography creating compositions with  pebbles, leaves and other natural materials.

Through the day, Sarah Flanagan will be demonstrating a variety of art materials. Tina Bettison will be painting a Galactic Guitar with acrylics.

With opportunities for you to have a go and join in, all we need is some fabulous weather to make it a great weekend! Come and share in the fun!


Announcing Spring Exhibitions

We have three fabulous exhibitions coming to beloved@thebarn in March, April and May.

Swan by Sarah Flanagan, part of her ‘anima’ exhibition in March

March 1 – 31
“anima” by Sarah Flanagan
Sarah’s artworks explore the soul and emotions of wildlife. The exhibition supports four charities: Saving Baby Squirrels (UK), Hedgelina’s Home for Hogs (UK), Tigers4Ever (UK) and The Centre for Great Apes (USA)

Follow Sarah’s work at


watercolour of Stonehenge by Michael Payne, from his exhibition Scenes of Southwell and Beyond

April 4 – 28
Scenes of Southwell and Beyond by Michael Payne
Following his successful debut exhibition in 2017 at Southwell Minster, this is a series of recent watercolours. Now in his 80s Michael still has a passion for capturing the variety and beauty of architectural features, even when the ‘architecture’ might be Stonehenge.

May 2 – 29
Celebrating Open Studios ~ various artists
A collection of artworks and crafts from the artists and creators around Southwell and Upton, who are opening their studios on May 26 – 28 as part of Open Studios Notts. Visit the exhibition and then be inspired to visit the artists on their open weekend.

We’ll be sharing more about the artists and their work in the coming weeks. Open Studios Notts runs throughout May and June.