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ArtsSea Cliffs at West Bay

Sea Cliffs at West Bay

Clean lines, dynamic surfaces and thrilling coastal subject matter are defining features of all three of the artists in this new Slader’s Yard exhibition at West Bay.

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Vanessa Gardiner’s new paintings of Boscastle, Tintagel and Godrevy, subjects she has loved all her life and has painted often and brilliantly, are reinvigorated in this exhibition by the addition of Orkney. Daring dazzling paintings reveal the new energy this dramatic new location has brought to Vanessa’s work.


Yo Thom’s work draws on both Japanese and British pottery traditions and practices. She uses stoneware which is thrown, slabbed, coiled and pinched into delightful simple forms.  She lives in and is inspired by Dorset’s beautiful rural landscape which she celebrates in her distinctive sgraffito technique reminiscent of patchwork-style recycled Japanese folk textiles called ‘Boro’.


Petter Southall’s recent work celebrates the trees whose exceptional wood he is using in simple beautiful forms that only a master-craftsman could create. Always original and surprising in his understated and brilliantly judged detailing, Petter’s pieces take your breath away.


Vanessa Gardiner is a much-loved painter who has been working as a professional artist for many years. She grew up in Oxford, where her father was a philosophy don. She trained at Oxford Polytechnic and the Central School of Art and Design in London. Her work is in private collections around the world and in public collections including Exeter Hospital, Bournemouth University Collection, Dorset County Museum, Carlow Collection Ireland, the Archive of the Ballinglen Arts Foundation Co. Mayo, Cowley Manor, Huddersfield Art Gallery, Fidelity International, New Hall Cambridge, Magdalen College Oxford, Wolfson College Oxford, the British Academy London and the British School in Athens. She lives in Charmouth, Dorset, with the painter Alex Lowery. They have a daughter, Jessie.


Yo Thom was born in Tokyo. She completed an MA in Ceramics at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 2000. Whilst studying, she also worked for Lisa Hammond MBE at Maze Hill Pottery in London, continuing her apprenticeship for a further two years after graduation. After five years in  her own studio in London, Yo Thom moved to Shaftesbury, Dorset, in 2009 and has since had a family. She is an elected member of the Craft Potters Association and has exhibited widely throughout the UK. 


Petter Southall has been making his distinctive furniture, and more recently architectural and sculptural pieces, in Dorset since 1989. He combines traditional Norwegian wooden boatbuilding with highly skilled cabinetmaking techniques to create work that looks simple and entirely original. A group of his exceptional pieces is on permanent display at Sladers Yard. To this he adds works he makes to explore new ideas. A recent workshop move to Denhay northwest of Bridport after 30 years at Chilcombe has opened a new chapter in his career and new thoughts about bringing wood into people’s lives in interesting, ethical and life-enhancing pieces of work.

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