Every year, around this time, we visit Devon for a week. Whilst there we never fail to fit in a visit to some galleries and one of our regular haunts is The Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey.
This year my favourite display was a small, one-room exhibition of Debby Mason‘s work. Her exhibition features just a few fantastically intricate fossil fish mezzotints. I also enjoyed the interesting assortment of additional information and artefacts.
Debby’s Coelacanth Mezzotint
“Visit our Members showcase gallery and follow the story of the elusive fossil fish told through Debby’s beautiful mezzotints. The Coelacanth has become a very familiar and favourite subject for Debby’s work. This showcase concentrates on this fascination and gives visitors an insight into the artist’s journey – from idea to final piece.”
There was a digital slideshow demonstrating the sequence of production of a mezzotint and the many inspirations that lead Debby into her chosen field of artwork.
In addition there were two shelves of influential books; some related to her earliest interests like Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki expedition, the underwater world of Jacques Cousteau and a visit to the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco :
There was also a display case of photos, shells, flotsam and jetsam.
I suppose also the idea of the Coelacanth intrigued me and reminded me of trips to Lyme Regis to visit the Museum and to try my luck at fossil-hunting.
“In 1938 a live Coelacanth was caught off the coast of South Africa. This caused a sensation because it was thought that these fish had died out 85 million years ago.” [Devon Guild poster]
Debby’s show is on at the Bovey Tracey Gallery until 2nd December.
Old Fourlegs by J. L. B. Smith
Yes, I see the resemblance, although our print is made directly from the fish itself — which would be a sad waste of a rare coelacanth!
Oh yes, I knew the methods were completely different but the pictures themselves look similar.
Even the frame looks the same.
Really? The similarity certainly struck me when I saw it.