We’ve a great little window exhibition by Melvyn Evans for July. Paintings, drawings and linocuts, plus a couple of tiny little boat sculptures that look like they sailed straight out of his pictures.
“My father was in the Navy so we spent a lot of time close to the sea when I was growing up and, as children, we were left to our own devices to wander and explore freely.”
Boat Form Ochre
Boat & Figure
Melvyn Evans had an unusual route into printmaking and illustration, having trained as a marine engineer and worked as a submariner before going on to study at Exeter College of Art and Design, Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art. “I did a five-year apprenticeship at Portsmouth dockyard and then spent 18 months working on submarines. I left as soon as the opportunity arose, but looking back now I think all the engineering experience has fed into my print-making. I like problem solving and experimenting, using the presses in different ways to create unusual marks.”
Morning on the Quay
The North Sea
“When I was growing up, as a family we always lived near the coast. My father was in the Navy so we moved from port to port. When he left the Navy he bought a hill farm in West Wales and I spent a lot of time working on the farm; you get to know the land really well.”
The Echo of Landscape
“When my father left the Navy we farmed a hill farm in West Wales. Working on the farm brought me very close to the elemental in the landscape, able to see through the picturesque and understand how deep connections and bonds are formed when we live in harmony with the land… how we’ve marked the landscape for millennia with walls, boundary stones, ancient 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. The stumps of great forests fossilised and exposed at particularly low tides give us a glimpse of lost causeways like Doggerland hinting at previous upheavals and give us an understanding of the fragility of the landscape we know.”
Birds & Rocks
A window to celebrate the land and the sea, the stone and the tree, a visual song for you and for me, sung with wistful melancholy and sweet harmony.
“Most people love being out in the landscape or viewing it. And one of the things I’ve always been interested in is the idea of the marks we leave in the landscape going back for millennia and how we can read those. We have a kind of collective unconscious memory that generations have handed down. Although we often don’t know the meanings of those marks anymore, we realise their significance. They are mysterious but we seem to connect with that mystery somehow. All of that feeds in to my work.”