Art makes a bold statement

The Fragile Coastline by Chrissy Norman, Trevor Sowden, Sylvia Paul and Douglas Page, at The Crooked House Gallery, Lavenham until August 31.An exhibition inspired by the eroding coastline of eastern Britain is probably not what visitors to a tiny crowded gallery, in a medieval wool town, thirty miles or so from the nearest beach, would expect.

The Fragile Coastline by Chrissy Norman, Trevor Sowden, Sylvia Paul and Douglas Page, at The Crooked House Gallery, Lavenham until August 31.

An exhibition inspired by the eroding coastline of eastern Britain is probably not what visitors to a tiny crowded gallery, in a medieval wool town, thirty miles or so from the nearest beach, would expect. However four artists, all from the East Anglian Group of Marine Artists, have accepted the invitation from The Crooked House Gallery, to exhibit their work - some creating new pieces especially for the exhibition.

Sylvia Paul shows versatility with her acrylics and paper collages. The purples, pinks and blues are calming in Washed Up, with it's foreground of flotsam and jetsam, the pools of water left by the receding tide leading your eye to the sea in the background. Pool of Light has a delicate feel while, in contrast, Sea and Shore Shingle Street has a more rugged three dimensional look; you can almost hear the crunch of the pebbles under your feet.

Trevor Sowden's lino cuts reflects his interest in the coastal industries of boat building and fishing with Harvest, in black and white, the cascading catch falling from the fishermen's' nets, Red Nets and Ghost of Shipping Past, a flash of red at the water-line of the ship, a sudden contrast to the blues of the two vessels sailing in ghostly moonlight.


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In Douglas Page watercolours, including Sunburst at Shingle Street and Wrabness Wreck, the paint freely flows and swirls, bringing the colour, movement and drama of our coastline alive.

Among her detailed and painstaking work, it is one of Chrissy Norman's etchings (Covehiths IV), of the wheat planted to the very edge of the broken cliff, its colour echoed in the sea beyond the yellow strip of sand, that really brought home the impact of coastal erosion and how art can make a dramatic environmental statement.

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Rachel Sloane

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