Landscape inspires Festival’s artists and photographers

The beauty of the West Somerset and Exmoor landscape has inspired countless artists through the generations and the 10 Parishes Festival exhibitions are a wonderful reflection of our ongoing love affair with the region.

The work of so many Festival artists and photographers features landscape – this is a tiny summary of just four of the people involved, plus images above from the work of a few more. Trawl through the Guide and you’ll find many wonderful artists, photographers and even embroiderers to go and visit during the Festival, capturing the beauty of the area from their own, unique perspective…

Claire DuVergier (artist)

Art was my favourite subject at school and as a child I was fascinated by the landscape. In 1990, we moved from Surrey to Somerset and I felt as if I had come home. I started to paint in earnest. I have now been painting full-time since 2000. I work primarily in oils and watercolour and occasionally with acrylics and mixed media. I’m a landscape painter. I seldom paint known beauty spots. My subject matter is most likely to be some geological form or characteristic that best expresses or illustrates a particular location. This might be a raised beech bank on Exmoor, a series of interfolding combes on the Quantocks or the wonderful rolling curves and patterns of the farmland near where I now live in Wiveliscombe. On occasions it might simply be the play of light and shadow on a simple landscape which inspires me – or just colour.

Tess Armitage (artist)

I have spent much of my life living on the edge of Exmoor and it is this connection with wild and untouched places that inspires my work. By exploring paint through mark making, scratching, splattering and palette knife work, my paintings evolve spontaneously with an intuitive response to the landscape. I hope to reach beyond visual representation and evoke the spirit of a place, so that the viewer may engage with the work and perhaps just for a moment be taken there. * Tess worked on a landscape project with students at Kingsmead Community School, and their landscape work is also on display at the school. She has been painting professionally since the late 1990s.

Nic Wingate (photographer)

Photography has been a lifelong interest for Nic and his interesting and varied career has provided the opportunity for a wide range of photographic experiences. After a professional training in photography and graphic design at art college, life took him across much of the northern hemisphere and he has worked as a press photographer, a truck driver in the Middle East, and in a successful career in the energy industry. This provided the chance for more travel and photographic challenges working with companies based in Africa, Canada and America. For the last decade Nic has been based in West Somerset and backing up the photography is an in-depth knowledge of specialist printing technology which, alongside his graphic design skills, forms a significant part of his business.

Michael Walters (photographer)

Michael’s exhibition includes stunning landscape, flora and fauna photographs taken around the world and in the UK, including landscape photography around Exmoor and Somerset. In his landscape work he aims to capture the light and feel of a place, and his photographs include a mixture of landscapes ranging from the English countryside to far off places and cities. He has often photographed on Exmoor (and the surrounding area of West Somerset, the Quantocks and North Devon), a place he finds to be of outstanding and diverse beauty. His photographic work also includes weddings and portraits and photography tuition.

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