All posts by Lois Wakeman

Potter, photographer, writer and a bit of a geek, living in Uplyme, East Devon

There is only Light, 21/06/2018-27/06/2018

Celebrating DIP’s 30th birthday

Dorset Independent Photographers have looked to writer John Fowles for the title of their 30th anniversary exhibition in June at The Malthouse, Town Mill, Lyme Regis.

In styles ranging from landscape and documentary to abstract and wildlife, images by the photographers for their 30th anniversary exhibition go to the heart of the former Lyme novelist’s assertions “that nothing and nobody is what they seem” and “there is only light”.

The show, sponsored by Lyme Bay Holidays, marks a special birthday for the group of eight photographers. Dorset Independent Photographers came into being as a result of an inspiring weekend workshop in Dorchester led by Fay Godwin, a seminal figure in 20th century British landscape photography.

Members, who are mostly based in West Dorset, have come and gone since that important weekend in 1988. But the group has been meeting regularly in each others’ homes to share work ever since, and two of the founder members – Tim Edwards and Ian Chapman – are still actively involved. The group has also exhibited widely in the region, including at the Town Mill back in 2005.

Photographic styles may have evolved since the 1980s, but Dorset Independent Photographers has remained a constant presence in the region’s visual arts scene. The secret of its staying power has been its informality, its members’ willingness to share work in progress and to exchange honest but constructive criticism.

The exhibition includes information about photographic processes, and individual members will be on hand every day. Saturday, June 23rd offers the opportunity to meet several of the photographers and to discuss their differing approaches.

  • Malcolm Macnaughtan’s approach takes us back to the early days of the group, and to the roots of photography itself. His body of work entitled A Land of Mountains and Flood records on large format monochrome film the effects of rapidly changing light on the landscape of the Western Highlands. The culmination of this work is the fine print made using traditional darkroom printing techniques – the embodiment of the use of light in its purest sense.
  • Images of urban life by Paul Clarke – everyday scenes that many of us might take of granted – may seem a million miles from the wilds of Scotland. But the time of day at which he presses the shutter and the prevailing light conditions will have an equally powerful impact on the final print. “This is the visual language of photography and storytelling through light,” says Paul.
  • The city has also provided inspiration for Ian Chapman. Wandering the streets of Edinburgh he was struck by how light revealed glimpses of the city’s past and clues to its present character. Together his elusive images of obscure fragments create a narrative of connections across time.
  • Lisa Bukalders’ photography is driven by a lifelong passion for nature and wildlife. “For me it’s all about being there, being immersed in nature, and being able to capture more than just a likeness, but also the mood, character and spirit of the animals,” she says. In this, the strong southern African light plays a crucial roIe, sometimes by softening the shimmering edges of her dreamlike images, and at others by throwing her subjects into sharp relief for an all-to-brief moment.
  • John Tilsley looks further north for his photographs – to the altogether chillier light of Iceland, Finland or the depths of a North Norfolk winter. Alongside his passion for landscape, he is continuing to record New Forest Pony sales as well as the work of heritage railway volunteers.
  • Like John, Andy White is often drawn to the shore. For this exhibition he has concentrated on the Jurassic coast on his doorstep, while not forgetting the rest of the world. “I have kept away from the stereotypical images of sea and sand, and instead have focused on challenging weather conditions and light that are difficult to photograph and yet hugely rewarding.
  • Chris Hilton considers himself something of a photographic magpie, collecting the shiny things that catch his eye. “it’s just about the way the light reacts with that splash of colour, the interesting shape or something darting into shot – but it’s always about the light.”
  • Summing up the group’s enthusiasm for this year’s Fowles-inspired exhibition theme, Tim Edwards advises:  “Just be open to what light can offer.” Speaking about his abstract images, he explains: “My emotional response to the type of light on a particular day can have a profound effect on the final image. Ranging from dark and brooding to airy and joyous, colourful or monochromatic.”

Open daily 10am – 4.30pm, with free admission.

Paper and Clay, 15/06/2018-27/06/2018

Paper and Clay is a diverse and exciting exhibition by four established ceramicists and a collograph printer: Linda Bristow, Cath Bloomfield, Alison Potter, Belinda Brownlee and Denise de Freitas.  They met ten years ago whilst studying Ceramics at Bath Spa University. Their techniques include throwing, hand building, plaster casting and mono printing onto clay, and Cath creates collograph and stitched prints. They are all inspired to create work that is vibrant and unique.

  • Cath Bloomfield is a collage print artist who explores colour, texture and narrative through this technique. She is inspired by natural forms from the Wiltshire landscape where she lives. She uses various materials within her work to create a lively visual conversation.
  • Belinda Brownlee works with white earthenware using moulds and liquid clay. She decorates by mono printing with coloured slips directly onto the plaster.  Her ideas start by sketching, mark making and combining colours.
  • Denise de Freitas builds her vessels by hand using sheets of paper clay. Layers of coloured slips are applied and then taken away, creating a depth of surface. Inspiration is taken from old buildings, peeling paint and rusting ironwork.
  • Linda Bristow is also inspired by the natural environment.  Meadow flowers and wild areas are her source of inspiration. She hand builds her fragile sculptures and presses flowers into small clay tiles to create her intricate wall pieces.
  • Alison Potter makes brightly coloured earthenware figurative vases and boats. They are individual and differ in character, but all are meant to amuse.  Her inspiration comes from people she knows or sees in the street.

Open daily 10.30-4.30, free admission


Viewpoints, 7/06/2018-20/06/2018

Nine successful and creative photographers from Bridport Camera Club have come together to show their passion for the medium of photography.

Each has a different viewpoint on the world: whether that is expressed globally or locally; through black and white or colour; through rural or urban landscapes or the natural or the man-made world. Together they are displaying an exciting and memorable mix of work.

Open 10.30-4.30 daily, free admission.

Affairs of the Heart, 31/05/2018-13/06/2018

Liz Shewan

Everything we do, say and think has an impact on how we feel.  In the same vein, whatever you have on your walls in your home or office, or on your person infuses into your core being every day and effects how you feel.  This year I will be holding my annual Solo Exhibition in beautiful Lyme Regis, and here I will continue on my enchanting journey in bringing calm and inspiration into people’s lives through my explorations and experiences with nature and my connection with spirit.  My love of all things spiritual and folklore means that my work is full of spiritual essence all with the aim to ‘Inspire your Heart’.

At this enchanting show I will be exhibiting much work for the very first time … and this will be mixed in with a few retrospective originals, including paintings, pen and inks, lots of gold leaf, jewellery, sculptures and photographs that I have created.

There will be work available for sale as well as Open, Limited Prints and Greetings Cards to buy.

Liz Shewan at work

Open at 1pm on 31st, then daily, 10.30am-4.30pm, free admission.

Lyme Regis Art Society Annual Exhibition, 26/05/2018-6/06/2018

The Lyme Regis Art Group includes artists at all levels from those interested in art to beginners, semi-professionals and professionals. We meet fortnightly in The Woodmead Halls, Lyme Regis, from September to Easter with demonstrations and workshops and visitors are always welcome. We encourage demonstrators to offer workshops in The Lyme Regis Football Club so we can try out their techniques.

The Art Society has been running since the 1960s but is continually looking for new demonstrators to enable members to keep up with new materials, new techniques or novel approaches to creating images.

Our Annual Exhibition in The Lyme Regis Town Mill Malthouse Gallery at Whitsun usually attracts over 100 works of art, offering all members a chance to display and sell their work and the public an opportunity to explore what can be achieved with a variety of media.

Open daily, 10-5pm, free admission

Marion Sawl , 18/05/2018-23/05/2018

Paintings of Landscapes and Seascapes

I studied at St. Martins School of Art, London on a part-time basis but mainly self-taught.  I have painted scenery for Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society and for NatWest Bank, London and have numerous paintings in collections at home and abroad.

I enjoy painting in Acrylic and Watercolour and enjoy experimenting with different media as well.

It is a wonderful feeling to know that whatever it was that inspired me to paint a particular subject actually touched someone enough for them to purchase it. Painting is certainly a challenge and the day that I find it relaxing is the day I put down my brushes.


Open daily 10.30-4.30, free admission.

Knowing my Place, 24/05/2018-30/05/2018

“Knowing my Place” is an Exhibition of contemporary landscape paintings by established west country artist, Lynda White.

Dorset shorelines and familiar landmarks are captured in a new series of acrylic paintings.  Along with light-filled images of Devon moorland and Cornish cliffs and coves, are semi-abstract mixed media paintings.  All works, whether figurative or abstract, reference specific locations and convey a compelling sense of place and season.

Born and brought up on a farm in rural North Devon, Lynda has a deep affinity with the landscape of the south west.  As a student in the ‘70s, (studying Art and Design as her main teaching subject at St Luke’s, Exeter) she filled sketch books with drawings of the wooded valleys, narrow lanes and patchwork pastures of her homeland.  Subscribing to Graham Sutherland’s view that “An artist must be part of his landscape to find the best in it”, Lynda continues to employ this immersive process of sketching, noting and photographing her location before ultimately working up a painting in the studio.

Since 2000 Lynda has lived in the Lyme Regis area, walking the Jurassic coast and celebrating its rich environmental diversity in paintings created with a range of different mediums.  She has had work selected for prestigious London shows in the Mall and Westminster Galleries and produces a new body of work every two years for a solo exhibition.

When not sketching outdoors or painting in her studio, Lynda is sharing her passion for art with adult students, running a busy programme of classes and workshops.  She is actively involved in the local art scene and is President of the Axminster Art Society.

Open daily 10am-5pm, free admission.

Nigel Sharman: Recent Work, 11/05/2018-17/05/2018

Nigel Sharman studied Textile Design at the University of Brighton. Since leaving college in the late 80’s, he has worked across several design fields both here in the UK, as well as internationally in New York and Southern Africa. However whilst his formal artistic education took place in Brighton and some of his early career took place in New York, these days he puts his real education down to, as he explains it, ”being dragged round the galleries of West Penwith in Cornwall as a small boy by my father and introduced to work by Alfred Wallis and Ben Nicholson.”

Whilst currently living and working primarily in London, Nigel’s roots remain firmly in the South West of England, where he also regularly visits and paints, and where the distinct landscape and culture have come to be an increasing and notable influence on his work.

He mostly paints in oils on canvas. Although his work is on first inspection figurative, as one keeps looking carefully at his paintings it is apparent that they always possesses a distinct abstract sophistication too, as if the figurative forms depicted are ultimately just a convenient means to create a basic sense of space and scale, so as to provide a means for the viewer to enter into the picture. By removing much detail, Nigel distils the essence of a complex composition into an arrangement of semi-figurative forms with a particular interest in subtle nuances of colour which evoke a sense of calm.

Although Nigel has been consciously much influenced by mid-century European modernist figurative painters, it was seeing the Tate St.Ives William Scott retrospective in 2013 and the Giorgio Morandi paintings in Italy, in the same year, that had the most profound effect. ”I can remember my pulse rate quickening to alarming levels on these two occasions.”

Nigel Sharman

He says, ”Maybe in ten years time I will be abstract. But I want to continue to evolve with each painting I make, both according to my own intuition, and perhaps by understanding of the thought processes and practices of those artists of the mid twentieth century who inspire me.”

Find out more:

Open daily 10.30-4.30, free admission.

Evening opening/preview on 11th May from 7-9pm.

Kate Westbrook, 5/05/2018-22/05/2018


Following in the traditions of classical fine art, and inspired by Gainsborough’s watercolour study, Kate Westbrook explores the myth of Diana and Actaeon.

Written by the Roman poet Ovid and found within the collected works entitled Metamorphoses, the myth describes the fatal encounter between the hunter Actaeon and the goddess Diana. Enraged that a mortal has seen her bathing naked, Diana splashes water upon Actaeon and he transforms into a deer and is subsequently killed by his own dogs.

Westbrook’s Diana and Actaeon are placed in the landscape of Dartmoor, an enthralling and inexhaustible subject she has been enjoying for a number of decades.

Diana and Actaeon – diptych

This current series of work represents three years of intense absorption and study; the paintings are finely rendered in oil, detailed and atmospheric, deserving of quiet contemplation.

Westbrook lives in Devon, she trained at Bath Academy of Art and Reading University and had her first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art in the USA where she lived for a number of years after graduating. Since returning to the UK she has exhibited regularly and gained a significant reputation both as a painter and international jazz musician having joined the Mike Westbrook Band in 1974.

Open 10.30-4.30pm each day, free admission.

Curated by Deborah Wood, The Art Room

Marking Time: traces of another Jurassic coast, 27/04/2018-9/05/2018

A joint exhibition by Andy Davey, Leo Davey, Melanie Deegan, Alison Jacobs, Lucy Lean and Sue Lowe

The fossil-rich rock strata of the Jurassic period, for which the Lyme Regis coast is famous worldwide, surface again, on the other side of the SW peninsula, along the Bristol Channel coastline of West Somerset. Between Blue Anchor Bay and Lilstock the alternating limestone, mudstone and shale layers weave across the cliff faces and at low tide stretch out across the unspoiled beaches in sweeping lines, like a vast washboard. This coast is well known to geologists and paleontologists, particularly for its exposure of the Triassic:Jurassic boundary region. Some of the earliest known ammonite species can be found in abundance here, as well as many other fossils.

Marking Time presents a diverse range of work, including painting, printmaking, sculpture, textile and mixed media work, by a group of West Somerset artists responding to their beautiful and fascinating coast. The artists have collaborated over the last three years in a creative development project, investigating the dramatic layers and rich textures that characterize the coast and learning about the formation of the landscape and the history of its representation in geological maps and texts. In this, their third exhibition, the artists offer their personal responses to aspects of the landscape and consider underlying themes of concealment, revelation, erasure and deep time.

The resulting exhibition invites its audience to reflect on the enormous forces and aeons in time that have marked out the unique beauty of the coastline and how we assimilate that with the short impact of human existence. It offers food for thought about ‘fossil tourism’, how we make the treasures on our doorstep known and accessible whilst encouraging the understanding and respect that they deserve.

Open daily 10.30-4.30pm; free admission. Late opening Saturday 5th May to 8pm for the Fossil Festival

Supported by Contains Art CIC, Arts Council England, The Golsoncott Foundation.