January Storm woodcut (section)

Large-scale woodcuts celebrate beauty of South West

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Pine Feroda was formed two and a half years ago, when North Devon artist Merlyn Chesterman brought a group of printmakers together for an experimental workshop.

Despite initial questions about how they might work as a group, they found that in just five days they had made a ‘relief’ print (cutting into a printing block i.e. lino or wood) which was unlike any of their individual work. By combining their unique strengths, a new collective identity was created: ‘Pine Feroda’ (Merlyn Chesterman, Julia Manning, Rod Nelson, Ian Phillips and Judith Westcot).

The group has continued meeting and working together for short, intense periods of time, resulting in a distinctive body of work which uses the biggest press in the South West (requiring two people to operate it).

The group admit that sometimes collaborative making ‘can be difficult – but seems to work’. They find solutions through taking the time to talk together, to trust in each others’ perceptions, keep things simple and develop a ‘communal overview’.

Julia Manning at work finishing woodblock print
Julia Manning at work finishing woodblock print

Pine Feroda decided to work only in a very large scale in order to capture fully the inspirational subject matter that is the glorious North Devon coast. The individual smaller prints have been made especially for this exhibition with each artist agreeing to follow loose guidelines for each print.

For one, all five artists visited the same beach and reacted to what they experienced there. It was decided that the second print should be monochrome and the third based around the common theme of rocks and water.

Working the Press at the Old Chapel, Hartland studio
Working the Press at the Old Chapel, Hartland studio

It’s true the unusual name provokes intrigue, and the artists have chosen to preserve the mystery – which will encourage discussion about the source, which may or may not involve a real person, clever wordplay, ideas about fiction, trees – or a song!

Devon Guild of Craftsmen is this lovely work made in a spirit of exploration, cooperation and skill sharing.

Pine Feroda – exhibition of large-scale, collaborative woodcuts

Exhibition runs Saturday 21 May – Sunday 3 July 2016
Private View 6 – 8pm Friday 20 May
Venue: Devon Guild of Craftsmen Bovey Tracey, Devon, TQ13 9AF

There is an opportunity to Meet the Makers and see their short film on Friday 20 May 5pm before the formal Launch event (at 6pm), when the exhibitors will be on hand to talk and answer questions about their work. (Free, no booking needed).


(top image: January Storm woodcut (section))

(from a press release)