A young artist based in Bridport is sharing her love of traditional art with an exhibition in the town.

Grace Crabtree, 26, will be exhibiting her paintings at Bridport Arts Centre, showcasing the rich geology of Dorset landscapes by using fresco painting.

This medieval and Renaissance technique was used for creating wall paintings, usually in religious spaces, by applying water-based pigments on freshly applied plaster.

The works featured in the exhibition were inspired by areas of the west Dorset coast such as Thorncombe Beacon. 

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Grace hopes her artwork will reintroduce the traditional alchemical method of fresco painting to a modern audience.

She said: “I’m hoping it will be fascinating to see fresco painting close-up and to understand more about that process.

“People might be familiar with the medium in Medieval and Renaissance paintings they’ve seen in photos, but they’ll get to really see the process of paint turning into stone.

"A lot of the works in the exhibition are routed in landscape turning in the direction of abstraction and digging deeper into the earth to allow people to see the landscape.”

Grace was a former student at Sir John Colfox School where she studied Art and Design at A Level.

Since graduating from the Ruskin School of Art in 2019, she has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, and attended artist residencies in France, Portugal, and Cyprus.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

After moving back to Dorset during lockdown, her artistic practise began to shift after becoming inspired by Dorset’s rural surroundings.

“All I was experiencing during lockdown was landscape. I was deep in the Dorset countryside, so my paintings turned to landscape. That’s where my focus has been in the last few years.”

She subsequently received a grant from the Arts Council for a project The Art of Fresco’ (2022-23) where she could fully pursue her burgeoning interest in Fresco painting, both in its practise and the history and folklore that surrounds it.

After attending a specialist course at Bosa Art School in Sardinia, she began to weave the traditional medium into her own practise.

This exhibition has allowed Grace to combine all her cultural interests, as well as her past research, into the medium.

“It has been a way for me to draw together various different interests.

"Art is not just one thing, it’s a way to bring in all of my research and personal interest in folklore and it all fuses in together, literature, history, language, and geology.”

Her artwork is currently on show in Elemental Drift at Bridport Arts Centre, which continues until February 3.

More information can be found on the Arts Centre's website:  https://www.bridport-arts.com/event/grace-crabtree-elemental-drift/