Paint in the Hut @ The Pitch n' Putt

Walking back along the cliffs on a beautiful summers morning, I was looking across the Downs and focused on a little building that looks like it has just popped up out of the ground like a mushroom overnight. Surrounded by buttercups and green grass, the victorian pitch n putt and long gone tearooms looked a little tired, but what a great venue for a ‘Pop Up Gallery’.

Pitch n Putt on Summerleaze Downs overlooking the sea

Pitch n Putt on Summerleaze Downs overlooking the sea

Having approached the Cricket Club and got the ok from the council, there was only a week to get this idea and project off the ground, so it was all go.

In need of a little tlc, after a general shout out for paint and sheets, Kim and Pam came up with goods and helped Don and I give this tired building a lick of paint to make it look a little more like gallery walls.. What we didn’t reckon for were the years of cobwebs and dust that had festooned itself among them.

It was a busy week, spent painting sheets on the decking to make banners. We borrowed some hardboard from a skip and Don made signs for me. I designed and printed a few posters and sent out emails, tweets and facebook notices.

What makes this little place unique is that there is no parking and cars are not allowed on the downs, but we had permission to off load 25 paintings in total and a stack of cards. I painted huge sheets to wrap the buildling and we hung bunting out and added pink balloon to make it eyecatching. I knew that a lot of people could see it if they were heading to the beaches and it’s only a stones throw from the town.

The whole concept of Pop Up is that it is temporary, but with this comes a real buzz. There was lovely atmosphere of wonder, lots of oohs and aahs and general excitement, with people coming and going, of wanting to make the most of the moment in a building which lots of people venture past, but never inside.

And although the idea of a gallery in this building wasn’t ludicrous, there was a slight oddity in the juxaposition of pitch n putt and art. It’s not every day you walk into a Pitch n Putt and are greeted with lounge music, an artists studio and the walls covered in Art. Some smiled, some looked slightly awkward but most were very appreciative.

Its a really quiet little spot, and there were quiet moments. I set up a studio area. People like to see you painting, but also it was a great way of getting some done and I found it quite inspiring there. But I also caught those special moments, timeless moments, watching cricket on the pitch on bank holiday monday, people strolling with their surfboards tucked under their arms; listening to the sea, the gulls and laughter of happy people.

Couldn’t have done this without support. The cricket club who run the pitch n putt let me have a free reign and can’t thank them enough. Don helped me every step. Annie came up with the tagline, Kim gave me paint, Mum and Pam sheets, and I think I spent £7.50, mostly on hooks and balloons.

Absolute magic.

What was a three day event turned into a four day event, and I sold my favourite painting. Boom!

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