Tag Archives: Earthbound Women

Powerful new exhibition in Colyer-Fergusson Gallery: Earthbound Women

Our second exhibition in the new Colyer-Fergusson Gallery space is a powerful, energy-filled series from Canterbury-based collective, Earthbound Women. Entitled Saxon Shore Way: a response to Tokaido Road,  the exhibition explores the historic ancient Roman shoreline from Gravesend to Hastings, and features dramatic visions of different sections of the route in mixed-media format including collage, print, etching and collagraph.

Rainy Day at Reculver: Ruth McDonald

The group describes the exhibition as ‘a palimpsest…modern observations written over the ancient history of the Kent coast,’ with some stunning images capturing the visceral power of the sea at Reculver, a haunting nightscape of the moon low over Whitstable, Harty Ferry at Faversham, the river at Chatham and more. The series marks a particularly Kentish reply to Hiroshige’s ’53 Stations of the Tokaido Road’ to which it responds, continuing the themes of travel and landscape begun in the previous photography exhibition by Hope Fitzgerald.

 

The exhibition runs until 24 May, and accompanies the performance of the chamber opera Tokaido Road: a journey after Hiroshige which comes to the Gulbenkian on Saturday 23 May (details here). Admission to the exhibition is free, gallery open during normal hours.

Read more about Earthbound Women here: follow in the footsteps of the Romans at Colyer-Fergusson…

An emotional interpretation of walking: Earthbound Women exhibition at Colyer-Fergusson

Continuing the ancillary events linked to the Tokaido Road opera coming to the Gulbenkian Theatre in May, our second exhibition in the new Colyer-Fergusson Gallery is a response to the Kent landscape, and in particular the historic Saxon Shore Way, by the Canterbury-based artist collective, Earthbound Women. I asked one of its members, Ruth McDonald, about the group and their response to the project.


Tell me about Earthbound Women

We met whilst doing an MA in Fine Art at Canterbury Christ Church University and all have an abiding passion for clay, earth, form and landscape. We are bound to the earth – it defines us.

Julie FramptonWhat was it about the Tokaido Road project in particular that interested you in taking part ?

We were keen to participate in a project that features women in the Arts and were anxious to be involved and give the project our own “take”.

You’ve talked about the exhibition as ‘modern observations written over the ancient history of the Kent coast;’ what have you discovered in preparing for it ?

Initially we explored the Saxon Shore Way together spending time drawing and illustrating the landscape. We then divided the coast up and each took different section. It was fascinating to see how popular the coastal walks are and yet at the same time they do have a desolation when the weather is inclement.

Harty Ferry Ruth McDonaldYour exhibition will explore similar ideas of travel and landscape to Hiroshige’s ‘Tokaido Road:’ is it a Kent-ish version, and why did you choose the Saxon Shore Way in particular ?

We studied Hiroshige’s works and felt that we should study our own landscape in Kent and walk the paths of the Saxon Shore Way. This is a long distance walking route of 257 km named after the line of historic fortifications that defended the Kent Coast at the end of the Roman era. It stretches from Gravesend to Hastings. The range of landscape is tremendous and we wanted to record the changes in the weather and seasons.

What can we expect when your exhibition opens in Colyer-Fergusson on May 9th?

Expect to see a wide range of work in differing styles. One artist has made clay objects from earth gathered on her walks. Another has produced a series of etching and drawings. Some will be accurate observations and other work will have an emotional interpretation of the experience of the walk.


Tracing the Saxon Shore Way by Earthbound Women will be at the Colyer-Fergusson gallery from 9-24 May; admission during normal opening hours, admission free. Find out more about Earthbound Women here.