With its unspoilt landscape and pretty coastline, it’s little wonder that Guernsey has long been a haven for artists. In addition to providing artistic inspiration, guests staying at The Old Government House Hotel and Spa or The Duke of Richmond will soon discover that the island is also home to plenty of excellent art galleries. From impressive sculptures to detailed fine art, here are seven of the best art galleries in Guernsey to visit on your next trip.
Marias Fine Arts
For original British and South African fine art produced by accomplished painters, request an appointment at Marais Fine Arts. Housed in a converted Victorian property, several of the reputable artists exhibited here are also on show at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, such as British artists Diana Armfield and David Cobley.
Guernsey Tapestry Gallery
If you’re patching together an itinerary, the Bailiwick of Guernsey Millennium Tapestry is a must-see attraction, next to St James Concert and Assembly Hall. Expect to admire 1000 years of local history, hand-stitched into ten panels of finely sewn embroidery. Each panel reflects a century of life on the island, and is the product of a community-based project, intended to commemorate the Millennium.
Guernsey Museum at Candie Gardens
Allow time to admire the surrounding pristinely manicured greenery when planning a visit to Guernsey Museum at Candie Gardens’ galleries. The statues of Queen Victoria and Victor Hugo, shaded pond areas and striking geometric landscaping offer plenty to contemplate before even entering the exhibition space. See exotic objects in the Collecting the World Gallery, or find figures sculpted by H&H in the Folklore of Guernsey Gallery.
The Coach House Gallery
Established in 1975 by a collection of practising artists with a commitment to local creativity, The Coach House is a well-known art gallery in Guernsey. Step inside solid barn doors and you’ll find a chic and minimal exhibition space. Mixing old and new is what they do best, with an ever-changing roster of glassware and three-dimensional work as well as traditional oil paintings, watercolours and pastels.
Rona Cole Art Gallery
Also nestled within Guernsey Museum’s grounds, the Rona Cole was named in tribute to its first director. Here, a snug space offers onlookers an eclectic collection of paintings varying from theBaroque to the post-modernist. Carefully pull out and inspect hundreds of sensitive to light works, which have been stored in the cabinets for safekeeping. Local artist Peter Le Vesseur’s ‘Tree of Life’ is easier to spy. It takes pride of place, having been voted The People’s Choice by the people of Guernsey.
In the Upper Barracks of 13th century Castle Cornet, visitors can get up close to many of the castle’s old oil paintings. Immerse yourself in tales of tragedy and heroism, centred on the theme of the sea. The stories told here chronicle Guernsey’s coastline throughout history, during Roman conquests as well as the Napoleonic and Second World Wars.
Iris & Dora
The spirit of the island is captured within family-run Guernsey art gallery, Iris & Dora. Small but plentifully stocked, the gallery offers original art alongside pretty tea lanterns, ceramics and handcrafted fashion accessories. Take home a unique trinket or try your hand at an acrylic painting class.
Image Credits: Lead image © iStock/VFKA. Woman weaving tapestry © iStock/kbwills. Coach House Gallery © The Coach House. Castle Cornet © Visit Guernsey.