Following training courses at the Sherbrooke Art Gallery, Melbourne and the Sunningwell School of Art I have gone on to paint and exhibit in local art shows in Oxfordshire and have even sold a few. My chosen medium is oil and my preferred subjects are still life or landscape. It is a physical process involving pacing backwards and forwards between the easel and the subject, or carrying the equipment en plein air. The smell of the linseed oil and the turps, the texture of the paint as it is mixed on the palette are as much a part of the process as the intellectual challenge of the composition.
On reflection. my interest in the prehistory of the landscape goes back to my childhood in the Peak District of Derbyshire where we used to roam or cycle through the countryside around Buxton. We clambered over dry stone walls and came across barrows and henges without knowing or appreciating what they were. When Adrian invited me to get involved in the Henge 19 project as an exhibiting artist it was this physical connection of the men and women with the ancient landscape which interested me the most.
|Freya||“Why are we busy cutting straw in this heat? Why are the men not doing it? The lazy sods.”|
|Brigid||“It is to re-thatch the roundhouse. Anyway, all the men have gone off with their antler picks to repair and extend the processional way”|
|Freya||“I bet you they’re cursing.”|
|Brigid||“No, not like you. They consider it a sacred duty.”|
|Girl||“Mum, what’s a processional way?”|
|Brigid||“It’s that long straight pathway between the two raised banks to the north of the village. We meet there for special gatherings. You remember a few years ago when we carried grandma’s ashes along the pathway, at that time when all the tribes gathered.”|
|Freya||“Aah, those gatherings are good times – the feasting, the ceremonies, and the people from the other tribes, particularly the men from that tribe south of the river.”|
|Brigid||“It will be a quite a few moons before the next gathering and there is a lot to do before then.”|
|Girl||“Mum, I have heard that I will have to move away to another village if a man chooses me at the gathering.”|
|Brigid||“Yes, but it will not happen for some time yet, and your father and I will have a say in the matter.”|
|Freya||“Don’t worry, ……. I came here from the Eagle tribe from the hills to the east. It is the way of things.”|