As part of our ‘Small print: Big Impression’ exhibition we are really pleased to be showing the work of Carry Akroyd.
A painter and printmaker, Carry has lived most of her life in rural East Northamptonshire. Her interest in the landscape draws on many levels of fascination: history mainly, also geology, botany and wildlife. She is drawn to the nature of the unlabelled countryside trying to survive alongside agribusiness.
Carry walks around whichever area is of current interest to her, accumulating sketches and visual notes, trying to take in all sorts of information which, later in the studio, are distilled into the final image. Carry enjoys working in different media; a subject will sometimes demand to be treated in a certain way or go through many processes. The use of colour is instinctive. Carry is also fascinated by John Clare, and over the last 8 years has produced a series of images relating to the work of the ‘Peasant Poet’.
Recently she was commissioned by the John Clare Society to illustrate a new paperback selection of his poems, “The Wood is Sweet”, for which she made over 50 linocuts.
It has been a privilege to show the work of an artist whose work represents such passion, integrity and political awareness as well as skill, vision and aesthetic qualities. The quality of the printmaking compliments the deep understanding of the countryside and presents aspects of nature struggling with industrial degradation. It does this in a way which appears poetic but is objective, strangely non-judgmental – simply documenting that which is in a way that evokes what could have been. The simplicity of the printing techniques, belies the complexity of the vision and it has been a significant stimulation to be involved in work of such intensity and commitment.