Patron: Her Majesty the Queen (1953-2022)

Honorary Member: HRH King Charles III

Gary Cook RI SGFA exhibits

Gary Cook RI SGFA is proud to have a solo exhibition of 30 watercolours calledWend: the Stour from source to sea’. The show celebrates the River Stour’s magnificent 61-mile journey to the English Channel from its Wiltshire source and will be at the Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset from 11 June to 9 July  with a Private View on Friday 17 June  from 6-8pm

Gary says “It was only when researching the route that I registered why the wonderful Stourhead estate is so called. It marks the spot where the river bubbles up through the ground. From a brook that you can step over, it quickly widens and wends through our world with many villages named in its honour: West Stour, Stourpaine, Stourton, Stour Provost, Sturminster Newton. A roll call that illustrates how our ancestors instinctively appreciated its vital role in their lives.”

“The paintings include the silhouettes and names of the many wildlife species, dependent on the river, I see while painting. Fauna that is increasingly threatened by pollution.” Last year, water companies legally discharged raw sewage into English rivers 372,533 times, adding up to a total of more than 2.7m hours. A recent parliamentary report concluded, “There are no rivers in England that can be given a clean bill of health.”

And yet. Gary says “When I had a friend visiting from London, I suggested a walk along the riverbank at Blandford Forum. It was mid afternoon. “We might see an otter.” He looked excited. “But really you have to come at dawn to see them.” Cue otter. A sign that we can still turn this situation around.”

Image: ‘Stream through the green’

‘Wend: the Stour from source to sea’
The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Dorset, DT11 8HB
June 11 to July 9
Thursday to Saturday 10-3