East Coasting. Scarborough Art Gallery. May 2009.

I liked this so much. Mark Hearld had produced a wonderful room, using his “magpie’s eye” which was stuffed full of his work and an artfully arranged jumble of curiosities surrounding it which reflected it and gave it resonance. I was fascinated by the fact that much of what I have lying around at home could have been substituted for one object or another without altering the effect of the whole! There were bits of Staffordshire, stuffed birds, fabrics, pots, advertising signs, books, wooden carvings and ephemera of all kinds. It all added up to a small room full of delight. So many things which I should have liked to bring home.
Alongside this was an Eric Bawden and Eric Ravilious exhibition. They are major influences on Mark Hearld’s work and his room fitted well alongside them. The Ravilious watercolours were beautiful and delicate and it was interesting to see the design work that he did alongside them. Bawden’s work is starker, cleverly designed and accessible. The two crabs from Aesop’s fables were funny and the use of two tone colour and line in a small tiger and in an enormous work showing Brighton pier was very satisfying.
All in all this exhibition was a real little crowd pleaser and I don’t wonder that they had sold out of the posters. I was lucky to be given one afterwards or I would have remained very disappointed.


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