Another year has passed and the month of June at Rabley wouldn’t be the same without Nik Pollard’s ‘Drawn to Nature’ course. Eight lucky students were able to immerse themselves for 3 days in the surrounding landscape of wild flower meadows and woodland.
As Nik was our artist in residence for 2014 and has been running courses here for over the last 5 years he is very familiar with the Rabley landscape and it’s indigenous species. As a fine artist and illustrator specialising in natural history working in the field is key to his practice and he was able to pass on some of his extensive knowledge during the course.
The weather was a bit hit and miss this year but it did not deter the group. Everyone got kitted up and found a spot to work, the rain spots even enhanced people’s drawing!
Nik introduced monotype printing methods to show how he develops his drawings and recalls information back in the studio. (Also a good option when the weather isn’t so favourable!) Using an offset and off press printing method he references his drawings without directly copying them. This involves a certain degree of control, yet is unpredictable at the same time which keeps the drawing energised. Wiping and drawing into a surface of ink Nik compares to the work of an archaeologist. By excavating your way through the ink to find your drawing is a great way to play with contrasts, echoes and various means of mark making.
A visit to Cherhill Downs was a must on the Saturday evening, where we got a glimpse of a variety of wild orchids, insects – and a herd of grazing heifers! It is an area of natural beauty owned by the National Trust and farmed by the Ainslie family. It is a registered Site of Special Scientific Interest and has it’s own Chalk Horse. This trip was then followed up by a well-deserved fish and chip supper in the gallery!
After three days of looking, listening and recording everyone produced informed and energised multi-sensory works on paper.
We hope this course has inspired you and will help you to continue to develop your own practice. Come visit us again at Rabley soon!
Visit our website to see some of Nik Pollard’s work on his gallery page.
Broad-bodied chaser at rest 2/30
Intaglio and monotype
20 x 25 cms
Edition Variable of 30
Contact Meryl or Amy-Jane if you would like information about future courses:
firstname.lastname@example.org / 01672 511999