Viewing the landscape

HOW do we see the world? The new exhibition online at Sladers Yard gallery and arts venue in West Bay explores the idea of seeing the landscape through the paintings of three very different artists.

In the Mind’s Eye, running from 30th January to 13th March, looks at the power of memory and imagination in evoking the world around us.

The three artists in this exhibition, David Atkins, Rachel Fenner and Paul Jones all paint landscape in very different ways, each reaching for different areas of our human perception. The exhibition also includes bentwood furniture and shelters by gallery owner, furniture maker-designer Petter Southall, and ceramics by Mike Dodd, Peter Hayes, Gabriele Koch, Adela Powell, Sue Ure and Paul Wearing.

David Atkins, who now lives in Dorset, was born in Greenwich, in 1964.and studied painting at St Martins School of Art, London and Winchester School of Art gaining a 1st Class Honours degree. He exhibits regularly throughout the UK and in 1999 began showing at the Albemarle Gallery in London, with his first solo show in 2002.  His many prizes include the Horan prize for painting at the NEAC exhibition in London; the Façade International Prize for Painting at the Discerning Eye Exhibition in London and the Baltic Exchange Prize 2018 for painting in the RMSA Exhibition at the Mall Galleries London.

Rachel Fenner, one of the first environmental sculptors in the 1970s and 80s, painted most of the work in this exhibition as a release after lockdown last summer, when she was finally able to visit ancient woodlands and the coast.

As a sculptor she worked for councils all over Britain making public spaces into artworks relating to the natural world. She has always had a passion for nature, particularly its detail and the processes of growth, decay and regeneration. Many of the works in this show are inspired by the ancient original woodland Ty-canol in Wales, of which very little remains, but which in these paintings can be felt as a powerful and precious resource.

When she visited Ty-canol it was, she says, “intense, like a revelation. I felt surrounded by personalities who were interacting with each other. I thought, I love this place and these paintings poured out in the following weeks.”

Paul Jones’s landscapes are abstracted, filtered by the eye and hand of the artist, transformed into something textured, simplified and quietly beautiful. He has built up a unique language of form, colour and texture to explore the complexities of coastline, geology and landscape.

Paul’s technique of burning and stressing his paint creates exceptional textures bringing his understanding of ceramic into the painting process.  He puts down layers of colour and sometimes sets light to the acrylic paint.  He is then able to control and move it around to achieve the finish he wants.  This may be rough and rock-like or, if he allows the paint to blister and burst, it reveals the colours underneath. Once the paint is dry he can cut into it with sandpaper or continue to work up more layers.

To view the exhibition, visit