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Wish You Were Here

I would like to tell you about a project with Design Collective Chichester that I'm delighted to be a part of.

In response to the current exhibition of paintings by the beloved Sussex artist Ivon Hitchens at Pallant House Gallery, the collective put out a call for designs inspired by specific locations in the Chichester area, to be made into a series of postcards. These would be exhibited at a 'Summer Lates' takeover at the gallery on 8th August.

There was a nature trail I wanted to try at nearby Kingley Vale, and had a feeling it would provide inspiration for my application. It didn't disappoint, and a blissful lone walk around the reserve got my brain (and heart) ticking.

A combination of having no phone signal, looking for the signposts to find my way, and having nobody to chat to, led to a far more engaging walk than usual. With just the sound of my footsteps, the wind in the spring leaves and the birdsong to keep me company, I spotted a fox, a grouse, and many small birds and insects.

I took many, many photos as per usual, took the time to make a couple of sketches, and enjoyed the climb and the view from the Devil's Humps at the top.

Spring leaves, Kingley Vale nature trail
Fern sketch Anna's Drawing Room
Devil's Humps sketch Anna Vartiainen
Beech leaf sketch Anna's Drawing Room

It was the yew grove though, that stole my heart. Sitting in its cool, comforting shade felt quite magical, and I can see why the ancient trees are nicknamed 'The Watchers'. Their presence feels both protective and eerie - imagine everything they have witnessed!

Yew trees Kingley Vale
Drawing the yew trees Kingley Vale
Yew trees Kingley Vale