Colin Bentley is a fine artist based in East Devon, working in collaboration with the Jurassic Coast Trust on a three-year art project. Colin is working alongside the Trust’s volunteer Ambassadors, Business Partners, local museums, schools and community groups across the project’s duration. In this blog, Colin talks about this year’s exhibition at Symondsbury Tithe Barn.
The second Jurassic Coast exhibition is now over and many of the paintings are hanging in their new homes.
This exhibition at Symondsbury Tithe Barn was my biggest and most ambitious to date, and the most rewarding one I’ve ever had. It took two days to build the exhibition in the beautiful medieval barn, and what a building it was to showcase the West Dorset paintings of the Jurassic Coast! The colours of its stone walls complemented perfectly the cliffs and sea on the canvases.
It’s not often I spend every day at one of my exhibitions, but I’m definitely glad I did this time around. It was great seeing the kids darting about trying to spot beaches they’d been to, and listening to the adults fondly remembering when they spent time on this wonderful coastline. People continually placed themselves into the landscapes, giving a deeply personal connection with the painting. This is something I am immensely proud of. Seeing strangers moved by one of my paintings is a very humbling experience. Landscapes are very powerful places and they affect us every day. This is even more apparent with the stunning scenery of the Jurassic Coast, and its landscapes have been the backdrops to many great memories of mine, and I’m sure many others. That’s why I live and work here.
I’m now starting to focus on the last section of the coastline, spanning from Weymouth to Swanage. I haven’t explored this section except for a few days out to Lulworth, so I can’t wait to see it. Just imagine how I’ll feel when Old Harry Rocks comes into view for the first time! I must admit, it feels like I’m embarking on a new adventure to unknown distant lands.
Sales from Colin’s Symondsbury exhibition have so far raised over £5,000 for the Jurassic Coast Trust. Colin will return in 2019 with an exciting new chapter in the Jurassic Coast art project. Stay tuned to our website for all the details.