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Inspired by nature

PUBLISHED: 08:24 17 November 2014 | UPDATED: 08:24 17 November 2014

Rachel Lockwood, Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley

Rachel Lockwood, Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley

Archant

For love of her surroundings and the nature around her, you'd have to look a long way to find someone more enthusiastic than north Norfolk-based artist Rachel Lockwood.

For love of her surroundings and the nature around her, you’d have to look a long way to find someone more enthusiastic than north Norfolk-based artist Rachel Lockwood. She brims with delight as she talks about the inspiration she finds close to her Cley home: “It just gets better and better. Every day when I wake up and think ‘Isn’t it brilliant that we are here’, something happens that makes me think ‘No, it’s better than that, it’s really brilliant to be here’!”

It’s been nine years since Rachel and Sarah Whittley opened Pinkfoot Gallery in Cley High Street, which has built up a stunning collection of modern British nature paintings, hand-made prints, prints and sculpture.

The gallery represents a diverse collection of artists, collectively called The Pinkfoot Artists, whose work ranges from the abstract to the realistic, from oils to encaustic techniques and from prints to porcelain. There is also a large part of the gallery dedicated to sculpture, including woodcarvings and large bird and animal bronzes.

Sarah came from a background of publishing and art, working with artists for many years and having set up the Wildlife Art Agency, a company specialising in wildlife illustration and book packaging. As well as running the gallery, she continues her freelance natural history writing career.

Rachel Lockwood has always been a professional artist. Although she is part-owner of the gallery, Rachel leaves the running of the gallery to Sarah and spends all her time in her studio on the edge of Cley, creating work inspired by nature.

“We just feel that this is the perfect spot for me – the forest, the heath, the marsh and water and the sea,” says Rachel. “There is so much to see and to soak up.”

Popular at Pinkfoot are the accomplished animal and bird studies by Robin Bouttell, another graduate of Norwich, who works both in oil and in bronze and bronze resin, and who is one of the country’s foremost natural history illustrators.

Sarah also highlights the work of Dafila Scott, daughter of the naturalist Sir Peter Scott, and granddaughter of the Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott. The zoologist and artist is inspired by wildlife and landscape.

Sarah comments: “My premise for Pinkfoot Gallery is art inspired by nature - that doesn’t mean wildlife art. People often think of pictures of giraffes, lions and elephants when they think of wildlife art, but why look to places like Africa when you have so much to inspire you around us here in Norfolk? You get such a sense of nature here in north Norfolk.”

As well as running the gallery, Sarah has recently formed Red Hare Publishing company to publish books about Norfolk (see www.rednarepublishing.co.uk). Red Hare has recently published Rachel’s first book about her work in the form of diary entries with paintings based in and around her Cley studio. Sarah adds: “Next year we will be publishing a series of beautiful, hard-backed, Norfolk-based books, which will be very collectible.”

Pinkfoot Gallery, High Street, Cley, NR25 7RB; 01263 740947; www.pinkfootgallery.co.uk

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