THE Courtyard Gallery at the Town Mill in Lyme Regis will be hosting ‘Marking Time: Traces of Another Jurassic Coast’, an exhibition of work by West Somerset artists guaranteed to fascinate local residents, fossil enthusiasts and visitors in equal measure.
Timed to complement the town’s annual Fossil Festival, the exhibition will be open from April 27 to May 9.
The fossil-rich rock strata of the Jurassic period, for which the Lyme Regis coast is famous, do in fact surface again on the other side of the South West peninsula along the Bristol Channel coastline of West Somerset. This coast is well known to geologists and paleontologists, especially for its exposure of the Triassic/Jurassic boundary region. Some of the earliest known ammonite species can be found in abundance here, as well as many other fossils.
‘Marking Time’ presents a diverse range of art, including paintings, printmaking, sculpture, textiles and mixed media work, created by six West Somerset artists who are responding to their own beautiful and fascinating coast. These artists have collaborated over the last three years in a creative development project, investigating the dramatic layers and rich textures that characterize the coast and learning about the formation of the landscape and the history of its representation in geological maps and texts.
In this, their third exhibition, the artists offer their personal responses to aspects of the landscape and consider underlying themes of concealment, revelation, erasure and deep time. The resulting exhibition invites its audience to reflect on the enormous forces and aeons in time that have marked out the unique beauty of the coastline and how we assimilate that with the short impact of human existence. It offers food for thought about ‘fossil tourism’: how we make the treasures on our doorstep known and accessible whilst encouraging the understanding and respect that they deserve.
The Marking Time project is supported by Contains Art CIC, Arts Council England and The Golsoncott Foundation.