Somerville at The Art Stable

THE new exhibition at The Art Stable, at Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford, until 20th April, is a return visit by the popular printmaker Liz Somerville, with new work on the theme of Place.

After some years living on her own near Crewkerne, Somerville is now married and living halfway up the dramatic Eggardon hill fort, one of the trio of lofty Iron Age hill forts in West Dorset.

“Eggardon has always been one of ‘those’ places for me,” she says. “I’ve been coming here regularly for the last 20 years to clear my head – it’s often windy – to breathe and to remind myself of the land, sky and sea of west Dorset, you can see a fair chunk of it from up here. A number of my prints have been inspired by this view, and the light and the colour.”

She is now working on developing the way in which she makes her prints, applies colour and chooses subjects. “Landscape is central to almost every piece that I make and more recently, trees. Trees have characters, some trees anyway, and a way of being, of inhabiting a space.”

Explaining her choice of title for the new exhibition, she says: “Place is explained as ‘a particular point, or area in space, a location’; a sense of place goes further and describes a specific place to which there is an emotive bond or attachment. It can reflect mood, encourage or discourage.

“The places I’ve chosen are places of reflection, discussion, contemplation or argument. It may be under a favourite tree with a picnic table and a view; an ornate summerhouse set in a glade below a hill; a beautiful midsummer evening next to a tree; a house built in a clearing high up on a Norwegian mountain; two trees growing together on the edge of a fiord.”

A concurrent Art Stable exhibition features Dorset Landscapes by Henrietta Hoyer Millar, who spends part of the year in the Bride Valley, exploring the lanes and tracks that crisscross the fields around her studio.

Pictured: Liz Somerville, A Midsummer Revelation, linocut & woodcut with hand colouring; Henrietta Hoyer Millar, Markets Lane in May Rain, oil on gesso board.