10 Parishes Festival of visual and performing arts

Genevieve Murray – Oil portraits
Flora Duley – Self-portraits and light atmospheres
Anita Roy – Nature; observational writings, sketches and paintings
Karen Patterson – Presenting the Yoga-Art of Heinz Grill 

 Beneath the Surface: The revealed secrets of prolonged observation

What happens when we spend time looking at something carefully? In our time of over abundant information and sensory stimulation, this is something we rarely do. And yet when we stop to look, more and more secrets start to reveal themselves. Furthermore the process of looking is beneficial for our health – we feel calmer, and also more enriched, as we have been touched more deeply within.

This exhibition takes place in the peaceful yoga studio at Extons Barn, surrounded by gardens, woodlands and fields. Allow time for your visit here, because you will have an opportunity to experience more than comes from a fleeting glance. As well as the art work on display, you are invited to spend time in the gardens and will be given some guidance for carrying out your own observation if you wish.

All of the artists exhibiting here have experienced the value of lengthy observation, and the depth that has revealed itself to them is evident in their work. Each artist describes the background to their work below.

Anita Roy
Once a month, starting in January and ending with December 2018, I spent a day at the Kingcombe Meadows nature reserve in Dorset. I had been commissioned to write a series of short, observational pieces for The Clearing, an online magazine, and these, along with sketches and paintings I did during each visit, were published as a book called A Year in Kingcombe: The Wildflower Meadows of Dorset.

To be invited to spend a day, on one’s own, in the glorious countryside simply noticing, was an enormous privilege. To have the grace of time and space to spend an hour sitting so still underneath the canopy of trees that deer would walk past unnoticing, or to watch the acrobatics of a grey squirrel in a summer rain shower, or listen to birdsong deep in the woods: these were moments of deep connection. Times when the edges of the self-blur into the soft surrounding air. When attention seems not to emanate from one’s self, but to surround you, subtly changing your inner states, like the weather.

There is a different kind of attention required when it comes to painting. Whereas in writing, one is searching out the perfect words, and laying them next to each other, constantly rearranging them so they most accurately convey meaning, when painting, I was striving to best mirror the actual world of objects, creatures and things: curve for curve, colour for colour. The results of both processes always fall short – there’s nothing, you quickly realise, that can hold a candle to the masterpiece that is a single flower, a blade of grass, an iridescent beetle. But – there’s pleasure in the trying, and something to be said for the quality of attention one enjoys and cultivates in the process.


Copies of A Year in Kingcombe are for sale for £10. To order yours please email anita@anitaroy.net.

Genevieve Murray
The act of looking is key to choosing and capturing a portrait. Over the weeks of painting a person I learn the details by examining the colours, highlights and shadows. The relationship between the environment and the figure becomes clearer over time, such as the way sunlight lands on hair and the interplay between strong colours in the environment.
I am exhibiting my oil portraits of ‘Jess’, ‘Sarah’ and ‘Boys Absorbed’. In ‘Jess’, I was initially caught by the radiant red behind her, her expression and concentration on her face as she looked at another’s phone screen. In my portrait ‘Sarah’, I was struck by the direct light, her pensive gaze and the complex colour palette. ‘Boys Absorbed’ is a portrait of my cousins who spent their time at a gathering on their phones and I was fascinated by their disconnection from the family party and phone light.

Flora Duley
I have always been interested in the activity of a draughtsman, less so in the aim of perfecting technical drawings however in the mental activity involved in drawing. The shaping of Goethe’s observations into step like poetic descriptions have fascinated me more than the object he described. I liken it to ‘a drawing out’ of ideas that are usually hidden beneath the surface of any visible thing, and that happens in the preparation of a project before the materialisation of a project. Entering into this activity of observing, listening and contemplation quietens the usual rush to get something out of a project or artistic activity, and opens up the possibility of feeling or seeing something new.

My exhibits include:
Self-portraits: Light atmospheres.
I wanted to explore objectivity and the subtitles of light as in ‘moods’ and how it can be seen in the form of a face These two faces show the difference between a person who is a little distant and inside their own world and restless. The Second face shows a person who is more open, radiating outwards and the overall form is calm.

Plant study:
I begin drawing with a question. My question for this study was: How is it when I look and think more into the space around the object and imagine this space of light, air and water working together to create a form?

Karen Patterson
My introduction to the value of taking time to observe came through the practice of yoga. In yoga, we observe our own body, and the form it makes while holding different yoga positions. When the practice is accompanied by specific thoughts, the “soul meaning” of the position becomes experienced. As well as opening up a new depth of inner experience, the outer appearance of the movement gains an artistic beauty. This artistic and contemplative approach to yoga was developed by Heinz Grill, and some of his yoga-art photos will be on display.

Event Type: Exhibition

Disciplines: Painting/Drawing/Illustration/Photography

Parish: Milverton

Artist Contact

Email: karen.patterson57@gmail.com

Phone: 01823 400122

Mobile: 07791 951626

Web Address: www.yogainsomerset.co.uk

Social Media


Visit the Festival from 11th-19th September 2021

The 2019 Festival has now passed, and what a blast we all had!

The Festival will return in September 2021.

The Street Market and Carnival will return in September 2021.

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Address of venue: Extons Barn, Milveron, Taunton, Somerset TA4 1RG

Directions: From Milverton roundabout on B3227, take steep hill signed Fitzhead. Left at top. After 300m, track on right.

Opening times

Saturday 11:

Sunday 12:

Monday 13:

Tuesday 14:

Wednesday 15:

Thursday 16:

Friday 17:

Saturday 18:

Sunday 19:

Venue Information

Venue contact:

Email: karen.patterson57@gmail.com

Phone: 01823 400122

Disabled Access: No disabled access. Steps and rough surface

Toilets: Toilets available

Dogs Guide dogs only: 

Refreshments: Tea

Parking: On site


Also exhibiting at this venue: 

Genevieve Murray – Oil portraits
Flora Duley – Self-portraits and light atmospheres
Anita Roy – Nature; observational writings, sketches and paintings
Karen Patterson – Presenting the Yoga-Art of Heinz Grill