Devon Open Studios is showcasing the work of over 150 artists who are opening their doors to the public over a 3 week period. It is organised by Devon Artists Network and details can be found on their website. I am Venue 34 in Woodbury, Devon, open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the event.
Drawing together a coherent body of work to exhibit as a solo exhibition has been an interesting and enlightening exercise. I realised that I had a huge body of work to draw upon. The primary theme is the coastline and the sea, with new work reflecting the colours of the Devonian rocks along the Jurassic Coast, and highlighting environmental issues particularly acidification of the oceans as a result of global warming and plastic pollution of the oceans. 3D work including ceramics i shown alongside paintings, large ink and charcoal drawings, prints, cyanotypes and photography.
Fish bones, in this case a fish skull, encased in plastic, are incorporated into abstract acrylic paintings. These are on canvas.
The Devonian rocks along the coastline contain numerous fossils, and I see these fish bones encased in their plastic shrouds as modern day fossils. This is highlighting the massive reduction in fish stocks worldwide in addition to the plastic pollution issue. The plastic particles never disappear, and enter the food chain via plankton.
I have entitled the hanging sculptural piece ‘Ghost’. It has a funereal quality, and the net which I found washed up on the beach is encrusted with barnacles and other crustaceans.
This large charcoal drawing (above) is a surreal depiction of skeletal, dying fish littering the sea bed surrounded by ropes, nets and an anchor.
My porcelain fish form lamp hangs from a fishing rod complete with reel. Behind it on the wall is an abstract acrylic painting superimposed on a cyanotype entitled ‘Wave’.
‘Jurassic Coast 2’
Other abstract acrylic paintings reflect the colour, grandeur and erosion of the sandstone cliffs (see above).
This wall features mixed media work including cyanotypes of seaweed, abstract work depicting water in various forms and moods, and a large pastel entitled ‘Reverie’ based on reflections in a pond.
I hope that if you are in the area at this time that you might be able to visit the studio!