Merlyn Chesterman at 2 Harton Manor
Woodblock printer, Merlyn Chesterman is based at Harton Manor in the centre of Hartland. Merlyn trained as a painter at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, and about twelve years ago began woodblock printmaking, after a visit to China.
She first became excited by wood cuts in China on the Mongolian border, where they were used in place of glass in the windows and duly replaced each year. Her many years of building up her knowledge and experience have paid off, in recent years she was made a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, whose base is Bankside Gallery, next to Tate Modern in London.
She works from her studio in Hartland, printing her large blocks in St John’s Music and Arts Centre in the Square. She runs courses for beginners and more advanced printmakers in Hartland and also at West Dean College, Chichester.
Her work is concerned with the natural world, and her work is often influenced by rocks and water, inspired by daily swims at Hartland Quay with the No 1 Ladies’ Swimming Club, who try and swim every day for seven months of the year (which is no mean feat). Merlyn lived overseas for twenty five years in Hong Kong, Thailand, and the USA, travelling to Bhutan, China, and Kashmir to paint. Her work can be found in the Hong Kong Museum of Art and galleries in London and the South West.
In Hartland, Merlyn offers art courses for those interested in wood cuts. Visitors to the area are welcome to take on a one day course so they leave having done something really creatively different.
The landscape and seascape around the Peninsula are ideal for this kind of art, as weather, tides and light transform the coastline making it ever-changing and never dull. Merlyn takes full advantage of the beauty and drama that the locality has to offer.