With headphones back in my ears and Google maps switched on I take a forty minute walk in the glorious sunshine, down Museum Street into Drury Lane. I take an accidental detour off Drury Lane into Long Acre and pass a bike shop gleaming with folded bicycles in vivid colours behind the window. I've been thinking about hiring a bike while I'm here but when I approach the docking station I read the long paragraphs, phase out and wish they had a slot for coins. I find my way back on Drury Lane towards heavy traffic at The Strand and along the river toward Blackfriars bridge, cross over the bridge and down Southwark Street and arrive at 57 Union Street - R K Burt Gallery.
R K Burt Gallery
Inside the gallery I am greeted by Laura Boswell and and Ian Philips. This is a lovely surprise as I didn't expect them to be here. They are both busy carving and printing. A live demo in working progress while showing their exhibition. Their work is laid across a huge table and they are working on a print together. Ian is carving lino and Laura is printing a woodblock. They are taking it in turns to print a layer each to build up the print and will eventually make an edition of twenty. Laura works with dampened paper while Ian needs the paper to be dry so after Laura has printed her layer, Ian will wait until the paper is dry before printing the next layer. The editions in working progress are laid out around the floor of the gallery while Laura and Ian continue working. They each have a collection of framed prints on the wall. Woodblock and linocut prints of rural landscapes, birds, woodland, crashing waves, sand and sea, mountains, cliffs and more of this delight downstairs in the basement. I am in awe of their work. Both have a wealth of experience, creating compositions full of rich and subtle colours and texture, the wildness and freedom, the stillness and sensitivity of nature.
Drawing The Line
Philip has a book about his prints for sale and I buy a few of their cards with the book. My bag already feels like its filled with rocks and like an explorer I head out the door for the next destination. I thank Laura and Philip and as Intaglio Printmakers are just round the corner: I would be mad not to pay them a visit and add to the heavy load! I pick up some magnolia wood and try not to get swayed by anything else. Back out into the sunshine with coat and jumper wrapped round my waist, my bag pulling on the muscles in my back and neck, I head towards Southwark bridge and down the steps into Bankside. My mission to find a snack and cool down before heading out of the city.