The Yorkshire landscape and its dramatic coastline are the focus of Imprinting the Land, a new exhibition by artist Melvyn Evans at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Evans is a skilled artist, illustrator and printmaker, whose bold lino cut prints featuring seascapes and landscapes have been exhibited UK-wide. His work references our relationship with landscape and the power of place, a concern shared with many of the artists whose work is shown at YSP, from Henry Moore to Andy Goldsworthy.
Featuring original drawings, paintings and lino prints all of which are available to buy the exhibition draws on Evans fascination with the links between rural traditions and our connection to the British landscape. Evans explores sense of place through depictions of landmarks, monuments, chalk figures, coastal paths and fishing boats, using strong, bold imagery and a carefully considered colour palette.
Barbara Hepworths The Family of Man (1970) is one of YSPs most iconic artworks which inspired Evans to produce an exclusive YSP limited edition to coincide with his exhibition. His tactile detailing and use of rich, burnished tones echo the textured finish of the sculptures, and Hepworths passion for her work to be allowed to breathe outdoors.
A series of lino prints including Stone Forest (2019) and Lost Land (2019) feature the fossilised ruins of the submerged causeway, Doggerland. Situated between the east coast of England and continental Europe, Doggerland refers to an area of land flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500 BC. It can still be seen today at low tide in some areas of the country, particularly North Yorkshires Redcar beach.
Other works in the show take inspiration from Evans interest in ancient boundary markers such as the Hitchen Stone between Yorkshire and Lancashire; and natural elements of the landscape including Sea Stack and Queens Rock at Flanborough Head. The latter is used for navigation by boats sailing from the traditional North Yorkshire fishing ports of Whitby and Scarborough.
The exhibition is accompanied by an exclusive range of merchandise, designed by Evans, including a bone china mug, softback notebook, tea towel, and book bag. The artist will deliver a one-day workshop on 15 February 2020, sharing the valuable skills and techniques needed for lino cutting and printing.
Initially trained as a marine engineer spending time working on submarines Melvyn Evans studied illustration at Exeter College of Art and Design, followed by a year at Goldsmiths College, London. He then took up drawing classes at the Royal College of Art under the tuition of Bryan Kneale RA. He became a professional artist, printmaker and illustrator in 1992. Evans has developed a signature style of strong, bold imagery, with inspiration coming from artists such as Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Henry Moore and the St Ives School. His work has been widely exhibited throughout the UK, including at the Royal Academy, the Royal College of Art and Somerset House.