To begin our 2019 exhibition programme we welcome artist-printmaker and illustrator Angie Lewin and potter Mark de la Torre to Tinsmiths for our Spring Exhibition. This is their first joint exhibition; both have shown here in the past and their work has a particular commonality. Both are very interested in and inspired by plant forms and the natural world. Both approach and execute their work with precision – crisp lines, smooth forms, “quiet” compositions that have style but don’t shout too loudly for attention – in other words, these are designs to live long with.
Angie’s fabric designs for St. Jude’s (the company started by Angie and her husband Simon Lewin with a group of artist-printmakers) began as fairly simple motifs, for example, a single seed head; more recently she has made patterns using several overlapping, repeating elements from her drawings bringing the same delicacy of outline seen in her sketches and prints. The latest design “Clover” combines leaves and flowers in seamless abundance. Angie explains her inspiration as, “Thinking of clover and daisies dotted through a grassy field and the sound of bees evokes memories of warm summer days. The plant’s unmistakable leaves and soft red and white petalled flowers, though small and insignificant, have a graphic quality when studied in detail, and I hope I’ve captured this in my latest fabric for St Jude’s, developed from an original wood engraving of the same name.” We are pleased to show Clover in “action” at Tinsmiths’ with a variety of cushions, lampshades & curtains using the fabric alongside her limited edition linocuts, screenprints and wood-engravings.
For this early Spring event Mark has made one-off stoneware planters and some of his hallmark “doughnut” cacti pots; any of which, being planted as we head into the growing year, will have a very good opportunity to establish. Talking of things settling in for the season, he adds to these the most beautiful bird nesting boxes. A keen and knowledgeable ornithologist, Mark watches the many garden birds busy around his pottery in Herefordshire. A couple of years ago he began to make ceramic nesting boxes for blue tits (primarily, although others fancied them too) and his latest design is intended for one of his favourite summer visitors, Swifts. Coming indoors for a moment, Mark will also be showing a series of one-off stoneware table lamps which, especially when lit, show off his expertise and creativity in texturing the smooth, pressed forms.
As I write this, we are yet to set up the show and until we are ready open the doors can’t precisely predict the effect of pairing these two artists. What we can promise the visitor is that each piece has been carefully considered and expertly undertaken; we hope you’ll come to see the show and look forward to your response.