Jilly Sutton: Across the
23 July - 2 October
Jilly Sutton BA ARBS uses felled trees and
often driftwood to carve her large wooden heads and figures,
sometimes sandblasting them at the local boatyard to give a grainy
texture, and using limewash pigments to finish them. She works
mainly as a wood carver in her studio beside the River Dart, where
the clamness of the river influences the peacefulness of her
In this new show, sculpture and pictures
made from wood complement a dramatic installation of elm trees that
were inflicted by the fatal Dutch Elm Disease. Jilly dug them up
with their roots and decorated them with new interpretations
linking man and tree.
Jilly Sutton's wooden sculptures, often
heads, are mainly figurative, but sometimes abstract. Her portrait
of poet Andrew Motion is part of the National Portrait Gallery's
permanent collection. She has exhibited and sold her sculptures
around the world. Many of her carvings are cast in bronze or olive
Whilst training as a sculptor at Exeter
College of Art, Jilly Sutton wrote her thesis on the history of the
foliated head as depicted in art. She lived for many years in
Nigeria and drew inspiration from the art forms that flourished
there, both carvings and textiles. She researched and worked with
indigo dye both in Africa and England.
For someone who works so sensitively with
wood it is perhaps no surprise to learn that her father and
grandfather were both nurserymen. Now her inspiration comes from an
area closer to home - the ancient trees and woodland that surround
her home on the bank of the River Dart in Devon.
Sutton comments: "Working with the
unpredictable nature of wood is always hard but provides me with a
constant challenge! The warmth, the surface texture and the
predominantly grainy finish of the timber are all important to
The exhibits will be for sale.
20 August, exhibition tour with Jilly Sutton.
Take a tour of Jilly Sutton's new exhibition, Across the
Grain. 1:00-1:45pm; free; early arrival advised.
Jilly Sutton, Graffiti Tree with Windy
Jilly Sutton, The Fallen Deodar in verdigris
Jilly Sutton, Elm Tree project
Jilly Sutton, Double Footprint, elm
wood and stainless steel