Western Edges Series
After a “ Hurtigruten” ( Norwegian ferry) trip in January and after seeing an exhibition of Munch woodcuts in Oslo, I produced six woodcuts. The intention was to depict the starkness of that Arctic coast, but always with evidence of human occupation. Sheets of old plywood provided the ideal medium for the print blocks, as they tore and splintered unpredictably when cut. This make do and mend approach seemed appropriate, echoing as it does the necessary harsh pragmatism of that part of the world.
Excursions to the Orkney and Shetland Islands led to a series of etchings and linocuts, chiefly of ancient village sites. In particular, “Jarlsfoff” and “Scara Brae” consist of partially buried circular dwellings.Conservation work has covered the walls with turf which has gradually weathered into fantastic organic shapes.
Picking up the theme, two lino cuts of Neolithic burial sites in Ireland followed. With these I was interested in the contrast between the massive base stones and the lyricism of the carved inscriptions.
The Cornish walls link a number of these Western Edges themes. Massive base stones, often in situ have been utilised over time with carefully placed unshaped smaller rocks built up into walls. Gaps allow the wind to pass through. Flora stabilises these ancient constructions and lichen inscribes curious designs.
These coastal fringes continue to resonate with me.I hope to visit the West Coast of Ireland to explore more of these atmospheric sites where earlier civilisations gained a foothold.
Cornish Wall 1
Cornish Wall 2
Jarlshoff Neolithic Village