How many years have you been taking part in DAW?
This will be our third Dorset Art Weeks, but also our first in which we are opening our house as a venue, so this one feels particularly special.
Can you tell us about your practice, studio, or venue you are exhibiting from?
We, Emily and Rosalyn, are sisters. Our venue is the house we grew up in. It has a fair amount of space around it and a lovely view of Maiden Castle. Emily paints landscapes in oils, abstracted from field patterns and alignments of ancient and modern monuments. She uses paths, burial mounds and buildings as a visual language to talk about her experience of walking through the Dorset landscape and triggering memories. Sometimes she will add her own monuments to the painting, or spots of colour to symbolise a fleeting thought or feeling. Rosalyn is a silversmith. Her jewellery, in silver, gold and precious stones, is inspired by the natural world and the local landscape. This can be expressed in beautifully balanced rolling curves and spirals, or by stylish strong symbolic shapes from birds and animals and plants. She has made pendants of red kites, pigeons, foxes, mountains and, for a recent commission from Washington, an Indian Paintbrush flower from North America. She lives and has a workshop in Alton Pancras in the Piddle Valley.
What does the run up to Dorset Art Week normally involve for your group?
It’s quite a creatively charged time, we often send each other pictures of new work and share ideas, but as Dorset Art Weeks get closer we do it a lot more. Having a shared objective like this is wonderful. We know how to work together, it’s very natural. The practical arrangements will be a little different this year but we have some idea what to expect and what is required. And if questions need to be answered, at least we know where to find each other.
What’s the most unusual experience you have had from a studio visitor?
Since we announced we will be opening our house as a venue, we have heard plenty of anecdotes from fellow artists and craftspeople. So we’ll let you know after this year!
What are the best bits of Dorset Art Week for the artists involved?
Meeting people, sharing their ideas about art and Dorset landscape, hearing what they think about our work. Sharing the experience with other artists, knowing that they’re all out there doing the same thing. The support of Dorset Visual Arts gives you confidence to get out there and do it. Having a deadline to work towards is also helpful. Emily feels her painting style has changed a lot recently, so a spur towards producing a new body of work has been very helpful.
How do you and Ros decide to exhibit together?
It would be stranger to decide not to. We have a lot in common. We really enjoy working together. We help each other out and understand the creative pressure! Our work really complements each other and the same things are important to both of us. We started doing this at about the same time, so we’re kind of on a journey together!
"I love the way Emily uses colour and light in her paintings, so I asked her to paint my favourite part of Maiden Castle. I'm at the other end of the country, so we had to do everything by phone and email, but Emily was incredibly helpful, as well as being very attentive to what I wanted. She kept me up to date with progress, and sent me sketches and pictures to make sure that I was happy at each stage. It was fascinating to see the work in progress and how it developed, and when I collected the finished work, I was delighted. From one photo and a couple of phone calls, she has captured everything that I love about Maiden Castle, and has brought a bit of Dorset summer sunlight into my living room". - Jane Shuttleworth.