Influences include the mid-century artists such as Edward Bawden and William Nicholson, and also Eric Ravilious and David Jones, who both visited Capel y Ffin, near Hay in the south of the county. He often works from memory to capture the sense of the place. He will work in the landscape in a free way to capture the essence and this might then lead into a simplification of the drawing into shapes. Working in lino, he not only cuts the surface, but also etches and scratches or rubs the surface to create different marks. These textures and colours are built up on top of each other to create a rich surface.
“I'm always thinking of the layers, not necessarily about how one colour will fit within the space provided by another, but about how the back of an object will project through the texture laid over it to give a quality of depth. I'm interested in how inks overlay so where the underlying paper meets the ink layer has a different colour and quality to where the same ink meets an underlying ink layer.”
“I am very inspired by the British landscape. Apart from living in London for ten years, which I loved, I've always lived in or near the countryside or coast. My parents farmed in Wales when my father left the Navy and farming brings you very close to the elemental landscape, you get to understand your surroundings very well. This show is very much about this connection, how we have marked the landscape for millennia, with walls, boundary stones, boundary trees, carvings and markers. I'm interested in how communities navigated their landscape using these local reference points often giving them characteristic names some of which have now lost their meaning but all give us an insight into the past. I'm also interested in how our understanding of the landscape as being permanent has recently altered, we have moved from being in awe of the landscape to being able to influence the landscape in such a way as to produce irreparable change.”
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CollectorPlan is available. Please ask at the desk for information.
Imprinting the Landscape
A short talk about Melvyn's drawings