showcasing the best of the south west

Landscapes reveal a mesmerising interior world

Lesley Slight's West Dorset landscapes are instantly affecting and a new exhibition of her work at The Art Stable in Child Okeford, Dorset reveals a mesmerising view of the countryside.

The artist derives inspiration from the ancient fields and woods that surround her home near Bridport but each image is transfigured by her unique exploration of  colour and light.


Her paintings bring to mind the poet Gerald Manley Hopkins,  for both share an intense communion with the natural world.

Slight has immersed herself in the landscape of West Dorset, so much so that her paintings feel like a closely observed scene yet they are painted entirely from her imagining.

Slight says: "My starting points are colour and light but I don't know exactly what I'm painting, it emerges slowly.'

Perhaps this is why her paintings have an impressionistic feel, they are both vividly real and dreamlike, conveying a particular mood, a moment caught in time.

A series of oak trees display her extraordinary sense of colour and each one differs dramatically in mood;  they might be ominous or serene or melancholy but always compelling.


Lesley Slight's background is interesting. A trained fine artist, in the 1980s she had great success as an accessories designer, working with Joan Burnstein (the woman behind Browns) and supplying handbags to Christian Dior. Her designs were displayed in the V&A as examples of fine 20th century craftsmanship.

For the past fifteen years, she has concentrated solely on her art, to great effect.

Her paintings really need to be viewed in the 'flesh'. More than anything, as you stand in a room of her work, each landscape reveals an interior world so evocative, that you wish, for an instant, to be transported there.

Lesley Slight Dark Sunlight runs until 24 September at The Art Stable, Child Okeford, Nr Blandford.


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