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.