Dorset visual arts is a not for profit charity which has 500 artist members within Dorset. They run a number of projects designed to aid networking and collaboration for their members. As part of Dorset Art weeks they held exhibition and talk at Bridport Arts centre. I decided to go along to find out more about the work of practising artists in the area.
I made notes from the afternoon in my small sketchbook (attached)
One artist that I particularly want to mention is Katy Shepherd, who works with ideas around loss and memory, which are themes that have started to arise in my own work.
The drawings she had on display were Ines she carried out on the 20th anniversary of her mother’s death. She used no photographic references for these works. She described the whole process which she said was not easy both emotionally and technically.
She drew her as she remembered her the last time she saw her. She said she is not sure she managed to draw her at all; that she was struggling through the journey of trying to remember her as she was.
Obviously I cannot comment on whether she managed to achieve a likeness but I found the portraits remarkable in their execution. The marks were sensitively drawn reflective of the poignancy of the process the artist was undertaking.
Katy also showed an animation called “Harbour”, which she produced at college in 1999. A clip of this work can be found here: http://katyshepherd.co.uk/animations/harbour/
She explained that this was one of a series of works animating family photos- an attempt to bring the moment back to life. She explained her process that it took ages- that it is a laborious thing trying to bring a still image back to life.
I felt a particular affinity to Katy’s work as the themes she explores resonate strongly in me.
I thoroughly enjoyed this afternoon. It makes me realise how many wonderful artists live locally and has made me think that I will join the group upon graduation, when I am completely aware of my own voice and have confidence in my own artistic practice. It is an exciting prospect.