Controversial Artists Becomes a Monk

A Bridport artist with a habit of causing controversy has become a “Monk “.

Michael J Chappell makes thought provoking sculptures from rubbish he finds on the beach, including a hedgehog skin, dead birds and plastic lighters.

He last caused a stir with a giant sculpture of himself in the nude. Previously he upset critics with his dead bird in a cage, which won first prize in the Bridport open art contest.

Now he has joined a group of West Dorset artists who call themselves the Monks as they run a small gallery in an old church schoolroom in Winterborne Monkton, near Dorchester. Each month a visiting artist is also invited to exhibit in the gallery, and these are naturally referred to as pilgrims.

Mr. Chappell said: “It could be my tonsure type hairstyle that had an influence in them asking me to join – together with the fact that I have a “habit” of trying to convert people to look at art in a more informed way through my controversial work.”

Mr. Chappell has also become a sought after painter of dramatic seascapes and landscapes said to capture “the very essence of the changing climate” and these with form the major part of his exhibited work.

Also joining the group is ceramic sculptor Pippa Hill, whose work includes amazingly lifelike cows and cats that are quintessentially feline.

They will be joining with Bill Crumbleholme, a studio potter, Sally Pinhey, painter and illustrator, Jon Sloper, a painter and designer and Eileen Sarup a textile artist, who have been “Monks” for a couple of years.

The artists will hold regular demonstrations, usually at 11am and 2pm each day they are open, which is every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am to 4pm from Easter to Christmas. The gallery is situated 200 yards off the A354 between Dorchester and Weymouth. The Gallery opens from today (Friday) from 10.30am.

Bridport News: 2nd Apr 2004 13:38:00

 

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