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Day Course: Ancient Landscapes Seen and Imagined, with Helen Garrett

A one-day course as part of the exhibition Hardy’s Wessex: the landscapes that inspired a writer, with Helen Garrett. Find out more about her work at Drawing into Life.

Venture into the ancient landscape of Wiltshire, to see how the burial mounds and beliefs of Wessex seeped into Hardy’s writing. A short journey from Stonehenge, one of the most iconic prehistoric monuments in the world, this exhibition will explore how past and present merge in the writings of this ‘time-torn man’. Within this ancient landscape, old beliefs died hard, and Hardy’s plots are set against a background of superstition.

Through his writing Hardy evoked a sense of the landscape whether quiet, foreboding or elemental in its expression – it was almost as if the landscape stood with a watchfulness or as witness to what was to come. Hardy’s curiosity and interest in archaeology added a deep layer of meaning and poignancy to his descriptions. We sense keen observation and understanding of the sensibilities of the local country folk, their wisdom and their folly as their converging lives affect each other. How does landscape express itself through the spirit of the people?


10.30 am: Meet and Introduction – We will begin by viewing the Hardy exhibition and considering the connection between landscape and people as well as exploring the idea of ‘ancient presence’ within the landscape.

11 am: Drawing – Beginning with some simple drawing exercises, we will experiment with mark making and some basic drawing techniques using natural pigments and local material from the Dorset countryside.

1-1.45pm: Break for lunch (not provided – bring your own to eat at the Museum or nearby Hillworth Park, or visit one of the many cafes in Devizes Market Place).

1.45 – 3.30pm: Create a mixed media piece in response to our conversations and visual inspiration from the exhibits using coloured and handmade papers, layering, drawing – considering scale, symbolism, atmosphere.

More information about the workshop: Hardy Workshop – details of the day – 250622.

No previous artistic experience is necessary.

Date: Saturday 25 June
Time: 10.30 am to 3.30 pm
Cost: £50 (£45 WANHS members), to include all materials.
Location: Wiltshire Museum

Booking: Essential – only 12 places available. Book online below.

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Unless sold out, bookings will close at 9 am on the day of the event.
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No responsibility can be accepted by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society (the Society) for accidents or injury sustained during the course of any event arranged by the Society.

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