There was a big change of exhibition at Buxton Museum last week as we took down the Derbyshire Open Art Exhibition and replaced it with an equally large display that celebrates thirty years of the Chapel Camera Club. As we gave paintings back to their rightful owners, or people who had bought them, we reflected on the 32nd Derbyshire Open. As usual, the exhibition had its share of controversy. Most visitors seemed to like it, leaving positive comments like these ones:

A wonderful, diverse collection of subject matter and style.
An excellent standard of work with exceptional originality.
Amazing! It makes you want to be creative.
Nice to see paintings other than landscapes.

Not everyone agreed and we had some negative feedback too:

Lack of variations in scale and form; no video art? Not much sculpture?
The Sculpture winner is a joke; come on judges!
Some lovely pieces but giving prizes is highly subjective; part of our X-Factor culture.
Overall low standard. Tenuous Derbyshire connection with some “artworks”. Disappointing.

One of the most surprising comments was about this particular painting by Roger Allen:

How could you choose such a revolting picture? Rotting carcasses?

He Had Seen Sheep Rotting in the Wind and Sun. COMMENDED by Roger Allen.
He Had Seen Sheep Rotting in the Wind and Sun. COMMENDED by Roger Allen

The Derbyshire Open is a very popular event but not everyone agrees with the judges’ decisions; see my blog on the Visitor’s Choice. Some visitors have an axe to grind with the Derbyshire theme and I have written a blog about this too. If would like more general information on the competition, you can find it here.

246 THE MUNRO TROPHY Derbyshire Grit by Fergus Carmichael
THE MUNRO TROPHY Derbyshire Grit by Fergus Carmichael

Replacing the Derbyshire Open is an exhibition by the Chapel Camera Club and you can see it until Saturday 22 November. The group celebrate their thirtieth anniversary with an extensive and varied display of their work; there are landscapes, portraits, wildlife, documentary and “altered reality”. Members of the club have won both national and international awards and the standard is remarkable. If that wasn’t enough, the group are running a series of free photography workshops throughout the exhibition and you can find details here.