Melvyn Evans pays tribute to the Yorkshire landscape and coastline with dramatic paintings and linocut prints
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.
Featuring original drawings, paintings and lino prints, the show draws on Evans' fascination with the links between rural traditions and our connection to the British landscape. He explores a 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.
Highlights of Imprinting the Land include Stone Forest (2019) and Lost Land (2019), pieces inspired by the fossilised ruins of the submerged causeway, Doggerland, the area of land flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500 BC.
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 such as Sea Stack and Queens Rock at Flamborough Head used for navigation by boats sailing from the traditional fishing ports of Whitby and Scarborough.
There's also a tribute to Barbara Hepworth's The Family of Man (1970), one of Yorkshire Sculpture Park's most iconic artworks, which inspired Evans to produce an exclusive limited-edition artwork to coincide with his exhibition. His tactile detailing and use of rich, burnished tones echo the textured finish of the sculptures, and Hepworth's passion for her work to be "allowed to breathe"| outdoors.
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.
Melvyn Evans: Imprinting the Land runs until 23 February 2020 at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Discover more at ysp.org.uk.