‘Ripples from the House on the Shore’ celebrates the work of Eric Ennion (1900 – 1981) and features over 30 stunning watercolours and preparartory sketches by the artist. Ennion was an outstanding 20th century bird illustrator who spent the 1950s living and working on the Northumberland coast. His drawings and watercolours of native British birds appeared in print throughout his adult life but he is little known by the general public today.
Ennion was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire, the son of a country doctor. The family moved to Cambridgeshire when he was four. Eric trained as a doctor and joined his fathers’ medical practice in 1926. From an early age he was fascinated by birds and drawing them. At the end of the war in 1945 he sold his medical practice and became the first warden of the Field Study Centre at Flatford Mill in Suffolk, in the heart of Constable Country. In 1950 he founded Monks’ House Observatory near Seahouses in Northumberland and for the next ten years ran a vibrant Field Study Centre.
Monks’ House, in Northumberland, attracted a regular band of keen ringers and birdwatchers, as well as providing courses for independent naturalists, artists, and students from colleges and schools and inspiring young people was central to Ennion’s life and work as an artist.
The exhibition has been brought together by Sunderland University as part of the Year of Drawing and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.