Open art studio event in North Devon
PUBLISHED: 15:30 10 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:47 10 October 2016
More than 40 artists across North Devon will be sharing their creativity this month with shows, workshops and talks for NDArt Trek
More than 40 different artists feature in the premier open studios event in North Devon; inviting the public into their studios, holding workshops and talks, or exhibiting their work at various venues across North Devon.
When the local authority funding ran out in 2014, North Devon Arts stepped in to keep NDArt Trek going, and it now celebrates its 13th year running. NDArt Trek is a fantastic opportunity to explore the artistic talent North Devon has to offer. Meet the artists face to face and talk with them about their inspirations, challenges and methods. Get creative yourself at the various workshops, or fall in love with that unique work of art which you cannot leave without.
Sculptor Eilean Eland will have two shows during the event – a joint show with Richard Meyer at The Plough Arts Centre in Great Torrington and a showcase of work at Bideford’s Jill Rousseau Gallery which stretches throughout the Art Trek and into the town’s famous Appledore Festival. A sculptor who hada glittering academic career, Eland came to Devon a decade ago and now works from her garden studio overlooking Westward Ho! beach – in fact you will find a touch of the local beach clay in some of her work.
“There’s an amazing petrified forest with blue-ish rocks and it looks like a field of rocks – it’s breaking up into the sea so I took a little bit home and made a slip out of it,” she admits.
Her ceramic sculptures feature a joyous use of colour which is inspired by her surroundings. As well as the sea views, Eland is a keen gardener and finds inspiration in the colours of her flowers. “My ginger lilies have just come out,” she says with obvious delight. “There are also salvias, hydrangeas and peas – the colours there really influence me, especially in the porcelain.”
Her work reflects her joy at finding herself able to concentrate on the work she wants to create. “I am getting to do what I want,” she admits. “I was an academic, and we came down here ten years ago and I was on the verge of retiring and I thought: how do I become an artist again? And now I am. I’m just having the most fantastic time.”
Although holding a degree in sculpture, Eland is a self-taught potter, which perhaps allows her greater freedom from the ceramicist’s rulebook relating to the need for pottery to have a use.
“As an artist, I don’t make anything that has to have a purpose; you can make something that expresses an idea. I do flirt with the concept of the vessel, and for these latest exhibitions, I have thought about how they can hold water, asking how that would work. But I don’t want my work to be pretty.”
Eilean Eland Showcase
Jill Rousseau Gallery, Bideford
Eilean Eland and Richard Meyer
9 September -3 October
The Plough Arts Centre, Great Torringtontheploughartscentre.org.uk
Pick of the rest:
Psychedelic artist John Hurford in his studio in Chumleigh(ndarttrek.com/john-hurford-2016).
Wood engraver Hilary Paynter from her studio in Bideford with fully functional Victorian printing presses (ndarttrek.com/hilary-paynter-2016/) and an exhibition of her work at White Moose Gallery (whitemoose.co.uk)
Animal artist Shan Miller with an exhibition at The Puffing Billy, a former Victorian railway station (ndarttrek.com/shan-miller-2016)
New talent Alex Moore with an exhibition of his semi-abstract seascapes in the Stables at Broomhill Art Hotel (ndarttrek.com/alex-moore-2016)
Joint exhibition of paintings from Hester Berry and sculptures by Edward Crumpton in the Hay Loft Studio, Dennington, Swimbridge (ndarttrek.com/edward-crumpton-and-hester-berry-2016)