August evening, Lyme Regis
The collectors Jim and Marion Perriss have donated ‘August Evening, Lyme Regis’ to the Dorset Museum.
‘This painting is about spirit and sense of place, evoking a keen understanding of a particular landscape,
its contours and unique history. The four panels of this work give a wide angle view, but also enable me
to alternate between representational and abstract modes, suggesting the range of different viewing
strategies and perceptions that occur when the observer is in a real landscape.
The rocks at Lyme Regis were once the floor of a deep, tropical sea rich in pre-historic life. They formed
in the Jurassic period, 155 million years ago. The rock layers are like the pages in a book and the fossils
they contain tell a story on each page. Each rock layer provides a window allowing us to look back
through geological time. Reading from left to right we see a cast of an Ichthyosaur in the second panel, like
many found in Lyme by Mary Anning. In the third panel from the left I have painted a view of Lyme with a
presence and personality that set it apart from the rest of the Jurassic coastline. The layers of paint,
scraped down and over-painted to create intermingled strata, echo the multiplicity of memories that inform
Jeremy Gardiner 2022