You can almost hear the blustery North Sea winds in the work of artist Melvyn Evans, whose new exhibition is on at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this winter. Inspired by the county’s wild scenery and dramatic coastline, Evans – who is also an illustrator and printmaker – touches on humans’ relationship with landscapes, and the folklore that often emerges out of powerful places. The artist, who initially trained as a marine engineer, has previously showed work at Somerset House, the Chelsea College of Art and the Royal Academy.
The images of coastal paths, fishing boats, chalk figures and monuments are brought together in a consideration of rural traditions, and their impact on our connection to the natural elements of the British landscape. Natural phenomena, particularly the prehistoric, provide a significant source of inspiration. 2019’s Stone Forest and Lost Land feature the Doggerland, a now mostly-submerged ancient causeway that used to connect the UK with the continent, still occasionally visible from North Yorkshire’s Redcar beach. In other works, Evans’ fascination with ancient boundary markers shines through; some of the monumental formations, such as Queen Rock, by the towering cliffs at Flanborough Head, remain used for navigation by boats even today. The artist also paid tribute to one of the Sculpture Park’s most iconic works, Barbara Hepworth’s The Family of Man, by producing a limited-edition piece echoing the sculpture’s texture with burnished tones and tactile detailing.
All paintings, drawings, and prints are additionally available for purchase. Evans’ bold re-imagining of the familiar and the forgotten wild scenes and landscapes, tempered by a subdued colour palette, would add a uniquely atmospheric touch to any interior.
Alongside the exhibition, the artist is running a one-day workshop, sharing his techniques for lino cutting and printing, to take place on 15 February 2020.
16 November 2019 – 23 February 2020
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, West Bretton, Wakefield WF4 4LG
The exhibition is free to attend; the lino printing workshop is £120pp. For more details, visit ysp.org.uk