Catherine Farr and Emily Smith Polyblank were brought together through their love of gardening and of being outdoors. Then they discovered that apart from the physical and spiritual benefit of being outside that they were both artists who are directly influenced by their surroundings: Catherine being a painter and Emily a printmaker.
Catherine’s work is based on the beach at the end of her road, her garden, and her favourite garden: Great Dixter (which she visits regularly to draw and take photos).
As a painter Catherine has always been interested in colour, the effects of colour next to each other and the light. Early studies of the German Expressionists developed the use of colour to create mood. This was gradually drawn into her work as well as the symbolic references to other things like choice of flower.
Catherine sees all of her work as a kind of self-portrait because they represent how she is feeling due to what is happening in her life at that time.
Her surroundings are very important to her…her subjects are places where she feels at ease and able to create.
Emily Smith Polyblank
Emily grew up on a smallholding surrounded by animals and has a deep understanding of their character and physique which she then translates through drawing into woodcuts. The grain of the wood predicts the outcome of the image. Emily then hand colours her prints with earthy colours to define the cuts more clearly.
This exhibition features a lot of dogs. (Emily has always had dogs in her life). She is developing her work to show movement, such as leaping and the speed of running, by concentrating on muscle shape and form.
Unlike other relief printmakers who concentrate on technique and layering colours, Emily works instinctively with each piece of wood and how it can be manipulated.