Not titled, graphite on paper app. 0.5m x 0.5m. Stephen Riley. Art in Bruton, Somerset

A visit to At The Chapel in Bruton

Art, Tea and Empathy in Somerset

’Called into At the Chapel in Bruton this week for tea. Although I am newly resident here, this was not my first trip to the place. I went there once before, about a year ago, with my friend, sculptor, Paul Finnegan. Art aficionados may recognise his name: he was one of the YBAs back in the 1990s, when he was still Y, and appeared in the (in)famous Sensation show in 1997.

So, some observations about the place:

  • The tea was very good, though after decades of using tea bags, loose tea and the need to use a strainer for the first time since childhood took a bit of getting used to.

  • There’s some interesting art in there, but none of it by me. Come on guys; local produce and all that!* Here’s one that should fit the bill (see pic).

  • The sink in the toilets is at groin level, whilst the water pressure can be described as at least ‘ample’. I therefore recommend proceeding with caution if wearing light-coloured pants.

  • The fact that the place is called ‘At the Chapel’, not just ‘The Chapel’, means that in the act of being there you are in the middle of a grammar conundrum, being ‘in the At The Chapel’.

*I should stress here that I despise the term ‘local artist’. It sounds condescending and feels like the condition of being ‘local’ is justification for an artist's output, rather than the art being something that stands on its own merits. Everyone is local to somewhere and notionally alien everywhere else. Every artist is therefore a ‘local artist’ and not a local artist, depending on where you are looking from. Jackson Pollock was a local artist in New York... I mean, really.... The term is meaningless and should be consigned to the dustbin of history.