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A Darker Christmas
Curated by Jody Medland & Ruth Bateman 
2nd - 16th December 2023 
Open: Wed-Sat 12:30-5:30pm
Private view: Friday 1st December, 5:30-7:30pm 

A Darker Christmas is an art exhibition showcasing the work of 18 artists either born or based in the South West of England, and features a mixture of paintings, sculptures, films, and mixed disciplinary practices. Entry to the exhibition is free, and there will also be panel discussions, live poetry and immersive theatre to experience throughout the course of the show.  


The exhibition is curated by local artists Jody Medland and Ruth Bateman, who have teamed up to create an exhibition that puts a dark spin on Christmas, addressing the fact that for so many people, it can be a particularly difficult time of pain, loss, sadness and loneliness. The theme was inspired when the two friends helped each other through a particularly uncomfortable Christmas back in 2022. 


“Christmas has always been my favourite time of year,” says Jody. “But the last couple of years have taught me how dark a time it can be if your head’s not in the right place. There are countless reasons for people to slip into depression, and so I wanted to combine my passions to raise awareness of people who need help at a time we’re led to believe everyone’s happy, because that’s obviously not the case.” 
Ruth adds, “Almost exactly a year ago we discussed the idea of an exhibition that dissolved the sugar-coating around Christmas and explored ways to shine a light on the deeper issues for those that needed help navigating these bleaker, darker months. We wanted to create an atmosphere that opened dialogue and broke down the stigma for those in pain. Suffering often happens in silence, so we wanted the acts of raising awareness and showing compassion to be the real reason for the season.” 


A host of local and national charities will be in attendance, providing information and signposting tools for anyone that feels they need help, making this more than an ordinary art exhibition. 


The preview for A Darker Christmas will be at Studio KIND. in Braunton on Friday 1st December, from 5:30-7:30pm. Everyone is welcome and you’ll get a chance to meet and talk with the artists.  


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