FASCINATING and contrasting exhibitions are being lined up to line the walls of the recently renovated Bridport Arts Centre throughout 2017.

Art of the Unusual, curated by local artist David Brooke is the first exhibition of the year that will bring together artists who have used unique imaginative vision to produce an enchanting exhibition.

Running from January 14 until February 25, the paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and ceramics will take the audience on an inspiring emotional journey – sometimes humorous and joyful, sometimes dark and sinister.

Many artists use personal experience and inspiration from those close to them to find deeper meanings to their work. John Hurford, one of the artists in the forthcoming group exhibition is no different.

Describing one of his paintings going on display, he said: "This painting is based on drawings of my nearest woodland. It's called 'plantation' because it was planted by my grandfather.

"I've always experimented with spilling, throwing and sponging paint onto the surface. I then hope that images will appear as I paint into it."

The exhibition will have a particularly wonderful collection of contemporary paintings from regional artists. When it comes to 'the unusual', much of the work has a strong sense of the narrative running through it. Debbie Lee is one of the artists who tell stories through her artistic pieces.

She said: "For me, telling stories is a way of making sense of the world that is passed through generations. A story may be told to instruct, heal or to entertain and mystify the audience. But mostly the story stimulates our imagination.

"Many of the stories I have illustrated in my artwork have been handed down from my Irish grandmother or inspired by stories I have heard on my travels that are connected to a place.

"The pictures that I have selected (for the show) have an unusual story to tell with some universal elements from the unconscious which I hope will strike a chord psychologically with the audience."

Featured artists also include: Marie Blake, David Brooke, Jonathon X Coudrille, Elaine Dixon, John Hurford, Caroline Ireland, Irene Jones, David Lawrence, Debbie Lee, Ian Middleton, Rachel Newham, Amanda Popham and Suzanne Woodward.

A special artists talk is being hosted next Saturday, January 21 at 2pm.

Also kicking off a creative year of art at BAC are works by painter and printmaker Diane Roberts, for Ink-Water-Paper, a collection of new prints and drawings inspired by the work of the American conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper.

The exhibition will be on display until Saturday, February 11 in the café and foyer.

The artist is asking visitors to leave their comments and reflections to help inspire a performance and foyer installation which will be unveiled on Saturday, February 4 from 11.30am.

Later on in the season, see the works of one of the world's most accomplished and celebrated artists of all time, as Bridport Arts Centre hosts Exhibition on Screen, I Claude Monet on Tuesday, March 14 at 7.30pm.