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SCA's collaborative postcard unites Southport artists to put on:- "Wish you were here!"

THE enterprising team at Southport Contemporary Arts, in sunny Southport, came up with an inventive way to keep their members busy during the COVID Lockdown, and the impressive results will be revealed at the ArtHouse Gallery, from the 13 April 2021.

Amanda Clark Price explains:- "As a lead up to the easing of lockdown, and our Spring Open exhibition, at the ArtHouse, I had the idea it would be good to do a piece which brought us all back together through our artwork. Using holiday brochures, magazines and photographs, Amanda and co-instigator, Suzanna Gregg, created a composite collage of easily identifiable Southport landmarks that was then divided up into 16 sections and distributed for individual SCA members to re-invent in their own way. Ranging from ceramics to embroidery, SCA's impressive rosta of creatives have certainly not disappointed in the variety of their artistic endeavors. Something small which wouldn't be too daunting for those of us who have maybe fallen out of practice, but which, when assembled, would have visual impact. I've done similar pieces before and it's nice to see the different interpretations and where things don't quite 'match up.' Reminding us of our diversity of approach and experience, but how art unites us."

Each artist was asked to prepare their submission as a 6x4 postcard sized replica from the original, although, because all of the artists were working independently at home, there have been concerns over how the individual pieces will eventually 'join' up. It was 'luck of the draw' who got what but all the artists have risen to the challenge.

For her 'Postcard from Southport,' Christine Brown, who has recently swopped her oil paints for watercolours, explains:- "The images on my section were very iconic of the Town. I wanted the feet of the little statue to dance down Lord Street and for the area under the bridge to depict something of the fabulous skies. The suggestion of trees had to show lights with a small window leading into 'hospitality.'"

Southport amateur artist, Sandra Hazeldon, who confesses to:- "painting when she can find the time," decided to bring a contemporary interpretation to her treatment:- "I was given the front ˝ of an ice cream van and decided to paint it using acrylics and give it a bit of a 'Pimp My Ride' makeover so added some gold bling and shiny bits!"

Margaret Maule, who always enjoys exploring alternative approaches to art, normally works with glass and paint but came up with a substitute approach for her submission:- "I decided to use linocut for my abstract interpretation of my segment of the collage. I felt it required an injection of colour to lift the image so I decided on yellow to mirror the yellow of the daffodil. I am very pleased that I managed to get the textured feel I wanted for the ironwork of the pier."

Don't miss seeing the results when the ArtHouse reopens, on:- 13 April 2021, with:- 'Spring Open' Exhibition. The exhibition can be located within the ArtHouse, located at:- 65 Eastbank Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR81EJ. The event will be open Tuesday to Friday, from:- 10am to 3pm, and on Saturday from:- 11am to 4pm.

Dobbies Southport reopens soft plays with safety measures in place

DOBBIES have announced the launch of its 1st ever:- 'Not Your Average Gardener' awards, to find the best and most dedicated gardeners from Merseyside and beyond.

Dobbies is looking to reward gardeners from Merseyside for their creativity and commitment to making the UK a brighter place through their gardens and is encouraging the public to get involved and nominate the talented people in their lives. Whether it's a family member, friend, neighbour or even themselves, the competition is open to amateur gardeners across the country.

Categories include:- Best Community Gardener, Best Mini Garden Makeover and Most Instagrammable Garden. Young gardeners are also being encouraged to get involved and submit entries for Best Young Gardener, for under 16's, and Best Little Seedling for those aged 10 and under. There's also a category dedicated to finding Dobbies' Best New Gardener 2021, with novice gardeners urged to enter and showcase their newly honed skills.

The awards will be judged by gardener, journalist and Dobbies' podcast host Louise Midgely, and Dobbies' Horticultural Director, Marcus Eyles. Entries can be submitted via the Dobbies' website, with winners being awarded ₤250 to spend in Dobbies' Liverpool or Southport stores, plus a 1 to 1 gardening consultation with the judges to advise them on how to maximise their garden in 2021 and beyond.

According to research conducted by the Horticultural Trades Association, 3 million people took up gardening in 2020, and Dobbies wants to recognise and celebrate these new gardeners, while highlighting the many benefits that gardening can offer.

Marcus Eyles, Horticulture Director at Dobbies, said:- "Gardening has proven benefits for our health and wellbeing, at Dobbies, we're delighted to see so many more people getting involved with gardening over the past year. These awards will allow us to celebrate those who love gardening and those who show promise as potential gardening superstars. We look forward to seeing all of the wonderful gardens from entrants in Merseyside."

The competition is open until 28 May 2021. To enter or make a nomination, visit the Dobbies' website and complete a simple form. All nominations will be reviewed by the judges, with prizes being awarded for the winners in each category during a virtual awards ceremony in the summer. For more information visit:-

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