Monday, 10 October 2011

Hurst festival

Congratulations to Eddie O'Brien on the sale of his soapstone figurative sculpture and to Isobel Walters on the sale of her ceramic cellist at the recent Hurst Festival exhibition, well done.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

'Imagined Landscape' By Harry Graves

Another fab painting by Harry Graves, painted during his training week
at Ovingdean, Brighton in August 2011

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Beautiful painting by Harry Graves

This beautiful painting was painted by Harry Graves during his training week at St Dunstans Ovingdean center. Harry has painted with watercolours for many years however this painting based from memory of the Sussex coastline was Harry's first attempt at painting with water mixable oils. Blank greetings cards of this painting will become available soon.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Highly Commended

St Dunstaner and recent trainee John Hodgson has just recieved a Highly Commended Award at a Cornish art competition for this painting of his garden. Well done John.
'Cornish Garden'  By John Hodgson acrylic on board aprox 50 x 30 cm

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sculpture by Pam Robinson

Recent trainee Pam Robinson produced this figure at St Dunstan's from air dry clay before painting on a bronze effect with acrylic paints, bronze powders and virdigris wax. Pam is currently having her own studio built where she will continue sculpting.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Artists Open House - May 2011

Brighton’s got visually impaired talent!
St Dunstan’s – the charity that helps blind ex-Servicemen and women has threw open the doors of its’ rehabilitation and training centre in Ovingdean, Brighton to show the public the work of more than 40 blind and visually impaired artists. The exhibition covers every discipline – sculpture, mosaic, wood turning, painting etc, and the vibrancy and quality of all the pieces are quite breathtaking. 
The Centre’s art and craft department hosted this event as part of the Brighton Festival Artist Open House.  It was free to attend and doors open from 10am to 4pm every Saturday and Sunday in May.
The Charity aimed to raise awareness of art and visual impairment in the wider community, showcasing the wonderful work produced by its’ fantastically creative beneficiaries. Visitors were invited to try out interactive challenges that will help them explore the idea of what it is like undertaking creative activities when visually impaired.  
The charity is also seeking to highlight the importance of access to art activities for all visually impaired people and encouraging their engagement with the arts.

BBC Sussex Audio Slideshow

A really beautiful peice about the work for the Artist Open House Exhibition, featuring some of the beneficiaries involved.

Please follow the link:

BBC News Footage in the Workshop

A group of blind American Armed Forces veterans has visited a Brighton rehabilitation and training centre for serving and retired personnel who have lost their sight due to conflict, age or illness.

At the St Dunstan's centre the group were shown techniques and equipment that are used there to give blind veterans greater independence.
The six visiting veterans, who are members of the Blinded Veterans Association USA, are in the UK on a week-long visit which is part of an exchange programme called Project Gemini.
Ray Hazan, president of St Dunstan's, said: "The visit extends the co-operation between our two nations both on the battlefield and its subsequent consequences."

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Artists Open House

St Dunstan's will be taking part in this years Artists Open Houses exhibitions. For more info. check out or call us on 01273391464 or 01273391466. further details will appear here throughout the exhibition.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

St Dunstaner Ron Skidmore presenting his Mosaic To Howard Webb

Ron Skidmore recently completed his training week at St Dunstan’s Ovingdean centre. Ron Is a former professional referee and helped coach the 2010 world cup final referee Howard Webb. As well as learning how to make jewellery Ron also made a mosaic of a football to give to Howard as they have remained friends. Here’s Ron in the Art & Craft Department and with Howard Melton Webb.

Written by Phil Rawson

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

More Soapstone Carving

This stone carving has just been completed By Dave Thomas  Dave has got no sight at all. He copied from a clay model. This project was almost a years work spending one morning a week. Allthough it is not for sale because Dave wants to keep it the carving will be on show at the forthcoming Brighton Open Houses exhibition. More details on that to come.

written By Phil Rawson

Monday, 28 March 2011

Cr8net Conference

Esther Freeman, Art & Craft Manager participated in Cr8net Conference on the 24th March.

CIDA logo - click here to return to homepage

Cr8net was put on by CIDA, the Cultural Industries Development Agency. CIDA is the leading specialist support organisation for the grassroots creative and cultural sector in London. They have supported thousands of creative individuals, businesses and arts organisations since their inception in 1999 by providing information, business support, professional development training, networking & showcasing opportunities and by commissioning new work.

Cr8net aims to set the tone for a renewed relationship between Government and creative industries support agencies like CIDA, highlighting the importance of creative minds supporting creative minds to the Big Society and the economy”. Toks Majek-Akisanya, CIDA’s Head of Operations.

Cr8net was a conference for the creative industries especially for those whose role it is to support and develop others. Cr8net brought together leaders in the sector from across the globe to discuss the pressure points of the industry.

The one-day conference gathered together significant of industry practitioners, policy makers and businesses and took place in the prestigious Royal Institution of Great Britain in Mayfair.

The panel addressed delegates and we debated a variety of key topics including:The event was a great success, with lively debate and networking from our delegates and speakers. Twitter ( for more news and updates.
  • Creative entrepreneurship and new business models for the sector
  • Unlocking talent and the IP Review: to protect and serve
  • Big Society and creativity: expectations and opportunities
  • Creative support agencies: are we still relevant?

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Amadou & Mariam Eclipse 14 - 16 July 2011 at Manchester International Festival


Malian musical superstars Amadou & Mariam return to Manchester for five totally unique performances; their first concerts staged entirely in the dark.
Married for more than 25 years, Amadou and Mariam met in the orchestra of The Institute for the Young Blind in Bamako. Since then, their magical fusion of pop, blues and Malian music has won them fans and stellar collaborators around the world.
Eclipse will tell the story of Amadou & Mariam’s life and work together, featuring songs from across their career including the premiere of tracks from their forthcoming album.
New Century Hall will be entirely blacked out for this unforgettable sensory experience.
If you cannot see, your sense of
sound becomes richer. You appreciate
the qualities of sound. That’s one
reason I wanted to have a series of
concerts in the darkness. I wanted
the audiences to try to hear the
music just as Mariam and I hear it.
Amadou Bagayoko

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Tony Golding's soapstone carving

Tony Golding has just completed his third week of training at St Dunstan’s Ovingdean centre. Tony learned how to carve soapstone. For his final project he produced this cat which is approximately 25cm x 15cm x 10cm. Tony Is one of the many visually impaired adults we teach art craft skills to at St Dunstan’s and he will continue with his new found skills at home.  

written by Phil Rawson

Wednesday, 9 March 2011


Matt Rhodes has been commissioned after his appearance in the press recently to reproduce this image on a smaller scale for a private client - well done Matt!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Brighton & Hove Gallery project

The Art & Craft Department are working together with Brighton and Hove Gallery to produce a Workshop based on their Bloomsbury Exhibition (running from 17th April – 9th October 2011)

The aim of the session is to give those who are blind or have a visual impairment the opportunity to engage with the Bloomsbury exhibition through a guided tour and practical session.

Working with 3D objects, audio descriptions the group will be encouraged to make individual creative decisions. Participants of the Workshop will create a still life set up and feel how it may appear. From this set up, participants will create a range of drawings and interpretations using a combination of wet and dry media. Inspiration will come from the images by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell. 

The Workshop is the first of a series in a partnership between St Dunstans Art & Craft Department and Brighton & Hove Gallery. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

St Dunstan’s Recreates 1940s Shop at Newhaven Fort for Art Wave

A beautiful three tiered wedding cake takes centre stage in Pearson’s the fruiterers, where the surrounding shelves are laden with fruit and vegetables and a plinth contains a bust of Winston Churchill. But on closer inspection all is not as it at first appears. The fruit and vegetables are made of papier mache and clay and the wedding cake is made of cardboard. Lifting the cake, its contents of a humble Victoria sponge cake are revealed, something that would have been a common sight at weddings during World War II as people made do with limited rations.

This is just part of the contents on display in Pearson’s, a 1940s shop which has been recreated by blind ex-Service men and women who attend the craft workshops at St Dunstan’s Centre in Ovingdean. The shop will open its doors at 9am on Saturday 28 August at Newhaven Fort as part of Art Wave 2010.

Sarah Jarron, St Dunstan’s Craft Department  Manager, said: “We came up with the concept to re-create a typical fruiterers from the 1940s to give a snapshot of life during World War II. The shop will include a display of a typical meal of the time and the mediocre rations a family would have to live on. Everything in the shop has been made by St Dunstaners in the craft workshop from the Dig for Victory posters, to the fixtures and fittings and the bust of Winston Churchill.

“What’s really great is that people who visit the shop on the morning of 1st September will be able to meet the St Dunstaners behind it. That includes Wallace Burnet-Smith who flew night planes with 85 Squadron during World War II. One of the many items Wallace made for the shop is Dr Carrot, which recreates a Government advertisement to encourage people to eat carrots for night vision. Obviously something that would have helped as they walked the streets during blackout and perhaps Wallace on his night sorties. The shop is based on a photograph of a fruiterers from the 1940s that was owned by Arthur Walton’s family, a St Dunstaner who made the pilots taking centre stage in the second room.

Named after Arthur Pearson, the newspaper magnate who founded St Dunstan’s in 1915, the shop will remain open until 12 September.

Quote from Wallace Burnet-Smith – what Wallace has to say about flying night sorties during World War II – if Wallace would like to comment on that. Or perhaps his memories of going into such a shop during the time.

To find out more about St Dunstan’s visit:
written by Catherine Goodier

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Fabrica trip

We took a couple of our St Dunstaners to Fabrica on Tuesday16th November. Fabrica is now an art exhibition space that used to be a church. Some of the original features still exist including the font and the stained glass windows. The work exhibited is usually a single contemporary installation piece and there are usually 4 works per year.

This one was called ‘The House of Vernacular’, several collections of photographs selected by curator Martin Parr and put together within several temporary built rooms.  We were part of a private tour of the exhibition by Naomi Kendrick for ‘Second Sight’ inviting visually impaired people to explore contemporary art.

The work engaged with post World War 2 International consumerism and austerity, from Brazilian black and white photographs painted with oil colour to the interiors of African dictator’s private jets. The discussion we had afterwards was really interesting how many nations tried to display their wealth and prosperity to the rest of the world. Before walking round the rest of the exhibit we were invited to put on a hat displayed in the first room which looked like a small 1950’s -60’s high street shop. To me it felt a bit like an episode of Mr Benn expecting the shop keeper to appear “as if by magic”.