WITH RED EARTH UNDER MY NAILS
‘Way back in 1950 my parents chose Sidmouth for their honeymoon. All I had ever seen of it was through tiny black and white snaps in the family album. Stopping off in Sidmouth for the first time ever I met the landscape in full colour. I felt immediate affinity with the ancient red cliffs, clouded red sea water, creamed waves, wind-carved cliffs that seemed to retain a smouldering warmth. Mercia Mudstone and Otter Sandstone (a Triassic geology born of desert, shifting sands and flash flood) present delicious pigments.
I also work with the warm, subtle variety of palettes in locations like Fremington Quay, Dartmoor, Westward Ho!
And of course I sourced in cliffs near Abbotsham the intensely concentrated black ‘Bideford Black’.
I like to pause to consider the age and the natural processes involved in the formation of the pigments I use. I never quite get beyond a feeling of overwhelm at the sheer complexity and deep time involved. It does however ‘put me in my place’ not as reprimand- but it situates me on the very top layer- and in the present.
Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton hosted a solo exhibition in 2017. The publication is available in the shop.
SIDMOUTH & LADRAM BAY
Work generated in response to Greencliff around the site of the Bideford Black seam. Scroll down to see process, sketchbooks and works in progress.
Greencliff near Abbotsham on the coast of North Devon.
Work in progress 2013, 2014, 2017
Sketchbook. local earths and gouache on grey card. November 2013
Black a Tor Wood