AN exhibition by the Dorset artist Liz Somerville is always something to look forward to with excited anticipation, and her latest show, Land of the Twisted and Fallen, opening on 15th February at The Art Stable at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, has plenty to delight her many fans.
The new work, linocuts, woodcuts and drawings, is a contemporary print-maker’s response to Dorset’s ancient places of pilgrimage, work and habitation. They include: Hod Hill, Golden Cap, Stairhole at Lulworth, Eggardon Hill Fort, Marshwood Vale, Warbarrow Bay and Tout, Durdle Door and Chesil Beach.
They illustrate why for many who know and love it, Dorset remains a county that is partly fable and a place of escape.
These are places which go back millennia into pre-history, and have witnessed massive change in human existence and land use. Yet beneath the changes, these places are essentially the same and they continue to draw people, whether as artists, walkers, wildlife watchers or holidaymakers.
Inspired by artists such as Edward Bawden, Rena Gardiner and Nikolai Astrup, Liz Somerville works with various forms of handcoloured relief print, sometimes using the more traditional lino but more recently, plywood and mdf board. She is also showing the drawings that inform and instruct her prints. These are either pen and ink wash or sgrafitto, a technique more like carving than drawing – she uses the same tools used for the blocks.
The exhibition includes a selection taken from a series of 48 linocuts made for the Spirit of Discovery, a new cruise liner launched last year. These are based on four ancient routes through southern England: the Fosse Way, Icknield Way, Ridgeway and Pilgrim’s Way.
The exhibition continues to 14th March.
Pictured: Liz Somerville, Land of the Twisted and the Fallen, hand coloured linocut.