The summer of 2021 finally saw me able to go back into the landscape that I love. Suddenly, travelling the little distance to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast footpath became a huge adventure, filled with utter delight and a euphoria of being back where my heart sings.
This piece is one of a series of 7 in oil and cold wax, painted together, after returning to Porthgain on the north Pembrokeshire coast.
Walking along the cliff tops, and around the relics of long past industry I found myself enthralled all over again. The scars and ugliness of industry are being softened and reclaimed by Mother Nature; the old rails and sleepers of the tramways peek through the carpet of Thrift; old red brick buildings on the harbour are covered in vibrant green foliage, whilst birds make use of the nooks and crannies for nesting. Even the old quarry faces are made colourful by the tangerine lichens thriving in the sea spray. The contrasts between the manmade and the natural make this place absolutely captivating. One can easily imagine the sound of the old whim engines competing with that of the crashing tide, as the men gathered on the quay to begin work.
These works developed through the summer: over repeated visits to the sites to explore and take it all in. Using oil and cold wax, I found I was able to use stark geometric shapes along with more diffuse organic marks to evoke that place where the two worlds meet and blend.