Jilly Sutton: Across the Grain

Jilly Sutton: Across the Grain

23 July - 2 October 2011

 

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 sculptures.

 

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 stone resin.

 

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 me."

 

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.

Image: Jilly Sutton, Graffiti Tree with Windy Head

Jilly Sutton, Graffiti Tree with Windy Head

 

Image: Jilly Sutton, The Fallen Deodar in verdigris bronze

Jilly Sutton, The Fallen Deodar in verdigris bronze

 

mage: Jilly Sutton, Elm Tree project

Jilly Sutton, Elm Tree project

 

Jilly Sutton, Double Footprint, elm wood and stainless steel

Jilly Sutton, Double Footprint, elm wood and stainless steel