40 Years of Dazzle Exhibitions


Oddities of the 80's

After the initial success of the 1981 launch, Dazzle was keen to spread its wings, which we did first in 1983 with Edinburgh Festival Dazzle adding it to our London and Manchester venues. We then experimented with other venues, with varying degrees of success. In 1985 we had exhibitions at the City of London Festival in St Lawrence Jewry, Wigan Festival on Wigan Pier and at the Sheffield Crucible as well as our other three venues. Not sure how we found the time, energy or the jewellers! In 1986 we tried the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath where we had a lovely time but didn't sell much jewellery. In 1989, with a one year old in tow, we exhibited at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith and Reading Shopping Mall with a small display at the Hexagon Theatre. What were we thinking! None of these venues became Dazzle regulars and we settled on London, Manchester, Glasgow and Edinburgh with a brief flirtation with Brighton, but that's another chapter. I wonder if there is anyone out there who remembers these one off exhibitions or took part in them? Interesting to see that all our artwork was in black and white, which was not ideal but all we could afford.

The 90's- Brighton Dazzle

In 1995 as part of the Brighton Festival we put on a show at the Royal Pavilion, a stunning location. We were "Dazzle by the Sea" and in subsequent years we were "Dazzle by the Sea Again" and "Dazzle by the Sea Yet Again" by the fourth year we were "Dazzle goes into Print", obviously we decided against "yet,yet again"! It was a great show to do as we were at the seaside, in a great space, handy for tea at The Mock Turtle and we had our wonderful Brighton jewellers covering shifts for us. The downside was the preponderance of mainly French schoolkids and students, who crowded out the gallery and showed no interest in the jewellery. We had four happy years in Brighton before calling it a day.

Traverse theatre 2010

Edinburgh Festival

Good news! We are planning on returning to Edinburgh for the Festival this year, at our wonderful Dovecot Studios venue from 5 to 29 August. Obviously this will be subject to government guidelines but we are hoping that we will be able to stage a less restrictive exhibition this year than we were last year.

We have been coming to Edinburgh with Dazzle for 38 years, just 2 years after we started in 1981. For the first ten years we were at the Assembly Rooms on George Street, then 1994 to 2010 at the Traverse Theatre and now at Dovecot Studios from 2012. It is now a very different experience to that first year at Assembly. We showed 75 jewellers crammed into cases in the Powder Room, which was not a large space and I can't remember any windows. We had two days to set up and jewellery was pinned to felt covered shapes with tie on labels. I don't think the jewellers would accept that these days. The jewellery, however, was wonderful and people crowded in and bought lots despite the room and the displays. We still love coming up to Edinburgh every year but we are relieved that we no longer have to share a flat with a dozen other bodies.

Image Traverse Theatre 2010