Twenty years for Delamore Arts this May

Be prepared for some surprises as Delamore Arts celebrates its 20th year

Delamore Arts has come a long way since its first exhibition in 2003. It was only ever supposed to be a one-off, but the owners of Delamore House in Cornwood, Gavin and Nicky Dollard, enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to make it an annual event.

From that inaugural exhibition, it has grown to become one of the ‘must visit’ events on the South West arts calendar, and the biggest exhibition of sculpture in the region. It’s best known for the large outdoor sculptures which are placed around the gardens, while a room in the house and the former stables are both turned into exhibition spaces for paintings and smaller sculptures.

But Delamore is more than just an exhibition of paintings and sculptures; the thousands of people who visit each year are also enchanted by the gardens, which are open to the public for the duration of the exhibition.

Last year, 135 sculptors and painters exhibited at Delamore, with 160 paintings and 85 sculptures inside the house and in the South West Academy of Fine Arts’ exhibition space in the Stable Gallery, and another 186 sculptures displayed in the gardens. This year looks set to be better still, with the planned ‘avenue of sculptures’ to the Cromlech and the South West Academy of Fine Arts getting extra display space in the Stables Gallery.

Visitors can also expect the usual mix of returning favourites – some exhibited at the very first event in 2003 – and new artists who will be making their Delamore debuts: “We like to keep it fresh, and we always aim for 30% new artists,” said Gavin. “And we also exhibit new art, so that none of the art should have been exhibited before.”

Each year, Delamore Arts raises money for a chosen charity – in 2022, it is Overcoming MS (OMS), the world’s leading multiple sclerosis healthy lifestyle charity. OMS are hoping to have a blind auction of postcards hand-painted by artists which will be on display and open to bids.

The charity is close to the heart of one of Delamore’s regular exhibitors, fine art textile artist Tessa Jane, from Yelverton. Tessa promotes the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle in helping to overcome issues among people with the condition: “I am very passionate about my work with Overcoming MS,” she said. “And the art that I have created while shielding during lockdown will also raise awareness I think, because it has been done from the perspective of someone with MS.” 

Words by Laura Joint