Wood Engravings by Anne Desmet and Friends in Petworth

Petworth's Kevis House Gallery is offering a new exhibition, Wood Engravings by Anne Desmet and Friends (until June 23)

Anne Desmet
Anne Desmet

Printmaker Anne will curate an intimate exhibition of contemporary wood engravings. She is one of only three wood engravers to be elected as Academicians in the Royal Academy’s 250-year history.

The show will feature the work of six artists; Anne Desmet, Neil Bousfield, Edwina Ellis, Peter Lawrence, Peter S Smith and Roy Willingham.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

“What I hope to create is a sense of six mini solo exhibitions, each one bringing out some of the abiding threads in each artist’s work,” Anne said

“Although all of the artists regularly exhibit with the Society of Wood Engravers, none of the works shown here has ever previously been exhibited by the Society of Wood Engravers, so they will offer a wealth of unseen delights to even the most assiduous devotee of wood engraving exhibitions. All the engravings shown will offer key insights into the ongoing, long-held interests of each engraver and all are works that each artist considers seminal in their expansive oeuvre.

“Neil Bousfield is a younger artist whose engravings started out as imagery in self-generated novels without words, following in the grand tradition of Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward and bearing striking similarities to the characteristic noir atmosphere of Ward’s 1930’s engravings.

“More recently Bousfield has experimented with subtle overlays of printed colour, tone and pattern, developed from vigorous, keenly-observed drawings of beaches, harbours and landscape near his home in Norfolk, coupled with imaginative aerial views, contours and geography of Ordnance Survey maps.”

Anne herself chooses architectural motifs as her subject matter. However while her engravings depict specific places, they are also intended to represent something universal: the way light brings life to a subject; the way apparently-permanent structures are poignantly prone to the ravages and redevelopments of time, weather and human intervention. Her interests also spreads into what our buildings tell us about mankind’s great aspirations, follies, passions and humour.

She says she also enjoys playing with shape, form and structure – to break down and rebuild existing structures into invented or more abstract forms through the medium of collage.

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2