Earth and Rock: Frances Hatch, Jan Walker, Robin Welch 18 April – 31 May 2015

Earth and Rock

paintings by Frances Hatch and Jan Walker

ceramics by Robin Welch

furniture by Petter Southall 

18 April to 31 May 2015

Portland West Side 35cm x 100cm Acrylic on canvas JAN WALKER

ARTISTS’ TALK with Frances Hatch and Jan Walker Friday 8 May.  Tickets: £10 or £25 with buffet dinner to follow. More…

LAND MARKS WALK WITH FRANCES HATCH Saturday 16 May 10am – 3pm  Walk and make artworks with gathered materials followed by a light lunch and informal review. Tickets: £25  More…

RETORICA violin duo play Baroque gems by Bach, Handel, Telemann and folk-inspired pieces by Bartok.  Saturday 25 April 6.30pm. Tickets: £15 / £30 with dinner to follow. More… “Dazzling“ Sunday Times, 2012

To book tickets for events or if you would like an invitation to the opening of the exhibition, please reply to this page at the bottom or telephone: 01308 459511.

Illustrated catalogues: Earth by Frances Hatch with a foreword by Professor Simon Olding and Rock by Jan Walker with a foreword by John Hubbard are available to buy (£8 each or download free.  Please follow links to the artists’ pages.

This exhibition draws attention to the ground beneath our feet, celebrating the stuff of landscape and its extraordinary potential in the hands of very skillful artists. Looking with fascination at spectacular and timeless rock faces or relishing transient fortuitous moments in wild coastal places, both Jan Walker and Frances Hatch in their paintings, and Robin Welch in his ceramics, take the material the Earth is made from and communicate through it and about it.

Frances Hatch at work photo-cheryl-rogers


Frances Hatch working near Swanage

FRANCES HATCH developed her plein air practice – not only to make work outdoors but to involve the materials she finds around her in the landscape, collecting earth, rocks, minerals and litter to use as her palette. Wild fruit juices, puddle mud and raindrops bespeckle her sketchbooks. Armed simply with paper and a portable toolkit containing some gouache, watercolour or acrylic paint and a binding medium, Frances heads off to beaches and headlands in Dorset, Devon and the North West Highlands of Scotland to create her response to the time she spends in these wild places using materials she finds there. Frances Hatch’s work can be viewed here.

Frances Hatch Ladram in Otter Sandstone Mercia Mudstone with acrylic on Khadi paper 134 x 96cm

Frances Hatch studied visual art at Cambridge, Aberystwyth and Goldsmiths and has an MA in printmaking from Wimbledon College of Art. She has always painted outdoors. Her work has grown in strength and confidence following a trip to Antarctica in 2005 followed by a Research Bursary from DVA/ExLab which supported her study of the history and craft of making and consolidating pigments. She has been a senior tutor at West Dean College since 1995, has published books about her projects and contributed to other books both as an illustrator and practitioner. She has exhibited throughout the UK and in London. This, her first show at Sladers Yard, welcomes her to West Dorset. She and her husband have just moved to Burton Bradstock.

Frances Hatch COX-TOR-HURRYING-DOWN134x94cm



jan WalkerJan Walker’s powerful paintings have a presence as strong as the rock faces she depicts. Looking back, her life has led her to these works. Brought up living by the sea, the beaches, rocks and cliffs have been a constant presence and source of curiosity and wonder. Her father, a Geography teacher and geomorphologist taught her to appreciate and observe and read the history in rocks.

Training as an Art teacher, Jan specialized in ceramics, enjoying its physicality and textural qualities. These three-dimensional elements recur in her paintings as Jan works the paint, enjoying continual experimentation as it’s layered on to canvas or wood panels. Working mostly with palette knives, these layers may be painted over and subsequently attacked by being scraped, worn, heated or even partially removed. Jan Walker’s paintings in the show can be viewed here.

Jan Walker Cliffs of Fractured Time  76 x 76 cm acrylic on canvas

Having stopped teachingJan Walker Close-up section Acrylic on canvas eight years ago, Jan now paints full time from her studio in Weymouth, responding to and excited by the Dorset coastline. Like her subject matter, Jan’s paintings develop slowly, forming an exciting journey of discovery for her as parts of the under-painting are revealed and re-worked and the painting gradually emerges and develops.

Her working practice echoes the real processes of geology, weathering and erosion which fascinate and motivate her. In addition she has a great visual interest in patterns and cracks and how they are repeated in nature in all different ways and at different scales. The complexity of time and history is evident in the finished surface of the paintings, creating a most striking tension in her work.


Robin Welsh 1 Tall blue £2000Robin Welch is a painter and potter, internationally recognized as a unique and interesting artist. He studied Art and Design at Penzance School of Art and worked with Michael Leach, son of Bernard, at St Ives. After National Service in the Parachute Regiment in Jordan and Cyprus he was studying at the Central School of Art in the 50’s when the new abstract expressionist American painters such as Rothko first showed in London, having a profound effect on students and teachers alike. After working in London and in Australia Welch set up his workshop in Suffolk in 1965 where he has worked ever since punctuated by visits, residencies, exhibitions and lecturing in Australia, New Zealand, the US and throughout Europe. We are proud to show his work at Sladers Yard. Robin Welch’s pots in this show can be viewed here.

Robin Welch 2

Robin Welch The Gilbert Candlesticks Lincoln Cathedral 2Acknowledging the influences of Rothko, Turner and the St Ives School helps to position Robin Welch beyond the normal boundaries of ceramics. His works often contain both thrown and hand-worked elements and are then painted and fired multiple times to build up a depth of surface, texture and colour. These surfaces need to be experienced rather than looked at. Robin Welch’s work both large and small is timeless and truly exceptional.  Pictures of work can be seen here.

Robin Welch The Gilbert Candlesticks Lincoln Cathedral

Petter Southall’s furniture springs from a combination of intuitive cabinetmaking and traditional Norwegian boatbuilding to create forms suggestive of Art Deco and the later streamlined designs of the 50’s. His work is made to be used in modern life with practical sensual and natural finishes, in solid locally sourced hardwoods fixed with very little glue to give no emissions, made to age gracefully and give pleasure for generations to come.

Two videos about Robin Welch

3 Responses to Earth and Rock: Frances Hatch, Jan Walker, Robin Welch 18 April – 31 May 2015

  1. Pingback: Story of a painting with Frances Hatch | Sladers Yard

  2. Pingback: – Earth and Rock Exhibition

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