Drawing Inspiration Project

Dorset's landscapes have inspired many artists over the centuries and there is a great legacy of this landscape-inspired work for us all to enjoy.

These are fantastic works of art but they also tell us about the cultural, physical and social changes that have shaped how we live today. The Drawing Inspiration project takes a closer look at landscape-inspired art to encourage people to look at the landscape from a new perspective.

We have been working with local museums, arts & environmental organisations, artists and historians to develop a great range of exhibitions, walks, talks & other events for you to get involved in.

  • Exhibitions, walks, talks and events in Lyme Regis, Bridport, Beaminster, Dorchester and Swanage and surrounding areas to show off Dorset landscape artworks and the stories they tell us about the landscape then and now.
  • Walking trails taking in views that highlight art work from the past, so you can see how the landscape has changed over time ... and why.
  • Working with young people in local primary and secondary schools to develop art trails and exhibitions that show off their landscape and how it has changed over time.
  • If you are a keen photographer or like to walk in the landscape regularly, you might be interested in helping us monitor landscape change through fixed point photography. Over the summer / autumn we hope to run training sessions, so do get in touch if you would like to be involved.

HLF-high-impact 232Drawing Inspiration is led by the Dorset AONB Partnership with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area and Dorset County Council.

Whether you missed our earlier events, or just want to get further involved, in Autumn 2015 the Dorset AONB is running a fixed point photography programme. Using historic paintings as a starting point, in a series of photographic workshops participants will re-record the landscape using Gigapan technology, forming an intriguing comparison between past and present, as well as handmade art work and photography.

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Since The Drawing Inspiration Project proved to be popular, the Dorset AONB have decided to prolong the project. From January 19th – April 26th 2015 prints from previous Drawing Inspiration Project events will be featuring in a new exhibition at the Dorset County Hospital, as part of the Arts in Hospital initiative. 

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A small charitable organisation, Arts in Hospital aims to lift the spirits of patients and their families through creativity, and in the past has included the successful Room With a View Project.

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 The Drawing Inspiration exhibition includes a vast array of eye-catching painting and photography, from both locally significant and national artists.

Interrogating Landscapes


A number of contemporary artists took part in the The Drawing Inspiration Project as a part of the Interrogating Landscapes scheme, where they created 21st century landscape-inspired art works. These will be displayed as part of the exhibition at the Dorset County Hospital. For further information, visit the Dorset Visual Arts website:http://www.dorsetvisualarts.org/projects/interrogating-landscapes.


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Working with artist Richard Jeffery, local secondary schools Thomas Hardye, Colfox and Beaminister, Woodroffe, and The Swanage School took inspiration from historic photographs of local spots around Dorset, recreating them for the 21st century. ‘Re-photography’ is an intriguing mix of old and new, representing the beauty of Dorset past and present, and will be featured alongside the new Drawing Inspiration Project exhibition at the Dorset County Hospital between January 19thand April 26th 2015.

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