Exploring the Wonders of Sandy Hill Arts

This article first appeared in Love it Local’s December publication.

Nestled in the Purbeck Hills in Corfe Castle, Sandy Hill Arts (SHA) is a vibrant hub of artistic exploration and creativity that has been shaping the local art scene – both visual and performing. Home to twenty artist studios and the Boilerhouse Gallery, it’s a place where art lovers, creators and communities can come together to celebrate their passion and thrive.
Earlier in the summer, Sandy Hill Arts secured £28,129 from the Arts Council England National Lottery fund to develop their grassroots music wing, paving the way for a series of exciting music events, showcasing a rich tapestry of sounds and talent – from the mesmerising iyatraQuartet to the reggae-influenced and Afro-beat band Soothsayers. Running alongside these events is a range of community projects designed to support and nurture local talent, giving local people spaces to perform and develop their confidence.
Laurel Hart, the Artistic Director of Sandy Hill Arts, summed up the year: “2023 has been a truly remarkable year for us. We’ve laughed, danced, and been moved by the extraordinary performances and talent we’ve hosted. We’ve begun to generate a real musical presence in Purbeck and attracted an array of performers, with more on the horizon next year. In September, we were delighted to host a sold-out comedy gig with comedian and actor Dylan Moran, entertaining over 170 people. We’ve also hosted more intimate performances like ‘Hopefool’ – a play brought to life by refugees showing audiences a glimpse of what it means to become a refugee. It’s been a privilege being able to give a platform to storytellers, enriching our community with diverse art forms.”
Sandy Hill Arts is best known for its visual arts, workshops and courses, spanning painting, life-drawing, raku, wood carving, and much more. “This year we’ve been fortunate enough to have activities led by talented artists like Royal Drawing School Tutor Charlotte Mann and renowned local artist Heather Gibbons, which left us inspired and eager for more. We also ran a transformative wellbeing project using art, creativity and our serene, natural setting to help participants with their mental wellbeing. We plan to do more of this next year.”
“Sandy Hill Arts is a wonderful place to be all year round – we’re on the lookout for new volunteers to support our 2024 programme so if you’re looking for ways to get involved in the arts and your community, do get in touch us with at info@sandyhillarts.co.uk. We’d love to hear from you.”
SHA will be hosting a Christmas event for all the family on the 9 December – keep an eye on their website for more info.
Sandy Hill Arts is a collaborative arts organisation dedicated to promoting the arts in Purbeck. Through a diverse range of programming, including music, performing arts, exhibitions, workshops, and outreach initiatives, Sandy Hill Arts strives to enrich the local artistic landscape and engage audiences of all ages and backgrounds. You can find SHA next to the Corfe Railway station, on Sandy Hill Lane.