Arts on the Leat

Dulverton’s historic leat (mill stream) is recognised as being medieval. Fed from a huge weir just to the north of the town, the leat passes right through Dulverton presenting many vantage points for members of the public to view it and any artworks placed in it.

Dulverton is an excellent venue for arts exhibitions being a vibrant market town in Exmoor National Park, a favourite destination for large numbers of visitors and a local centre for shopping. There are good restaurants, pubs, B&Bs, hostel and hotel facilities as well as a large touring caravan site set within the town.

DWLCT’s arts activities are co ordinated by Wendy Elford, the Director of the Trust’s ‘Arts on the Leat’ initiative with support from four ‘Artists in Residence’ (see Artists in Residence page on this website). In a new innovation this year (2019) the Trust will be offering an additional short term artist residency with a small bursary. 

Wendy has a degree in Fine Arts from Plymouth University, she later qualified as a teacher and worked as an Art Educator with schools and museums facilitating art projects. She moved to North Devon 32 years ago and has spent the last nine years teaching and then managing the Fine Art Foundation Degree programme at Petroc College, Barnstaple. She recently took up a post with the National Fostering Agency and is also working as a facilitator of Creative Consultation Days. 

As an artist working in a range of appropriate media she has exhibited at the Phoenix Gallery Exeter, Orleans House Twickenham, Barnstaple Museum, The Goodwin Gallery Barnstaple and most recently, at the University of St. David’s Swansea. Recent projects include co-curating ‘Divided By The Melt Water’ a project bringing together artists from Swansea and North Devon.

Wendy is very excited by the weir & leat project, recognising the huge opportunities it offers both in

– educational terms;

“There are so many projects that schools could pursue, covering a broad spectrum of the curriculum, from Design Technology to Maths, History to Physics!”

“The involvement of the local primary school will offer the children many educational opportunities as well as the chance to see artists working at first hand and to hear about their creations.”

-and artistic terms;

“The power and the potential energy of moving water offer a wide range of opportunities to artists who want to exploit movement in their art. The chance to link art with a wider context is clear in the weir & leat project.”

“The cultural history of the leat and the mills of Dulverton, the geography of the area, the social context, all offer huge potential for multi disciplined creative work. To have artists creating site specific pieces for the leat will add a new dimension to the town and will help to bring the leat to life.”

“There are so many opportunities here. The only limits are our imaginations!”

To contact Wendy Elford email Tel 07980 351382. 

For an informal discussion, or more technical information on venues and sites contact Philip Hull email, Tel 01398 323526.


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