North House Gallery. exhibitions, paintings, drawings, sculpture, original prints and books by modern and contemporary artists of East Anglian, national and international fame.


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St Kilda Revisited, The Galápagos Islands & Random Journeys 2009-10

Norman Ackroyd's travels in the last two years have taken him not only to familiar haunts within the British Isles, including several trips to St Kilda at their westernmost edge, but also to the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

As part of the 2009 celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, and because of the importance of the endemic species of the Galápagos Islands to the development of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, Ackroyd was commissioned to visit the islands and create a large mural (7.2m x 1.44m), made of 40 etched steel plates, of the flora and fauna for the new Sainsbury Laboratory for the Study of Plant Development in the Botanic Garden of Cambridge University, which opened in December 2010. The mural was shown in the 2010 Royal Academy Summer Show. Prints taken from the etched surface of the zinc maquette (one third of the size) will be on show at North House Gallery. Because of the softness of zinc, very few prints can be taken before the image breaks down, so these prints will necessarily be very rare.

Coincidentally, St Kilda, whose population was evacuated 80 years ago, has its own distinctive species which have developed in isolation from the mainland: the Soay sheep, the St Kilda wren and mice. The archipelago of islands which make up St Kilda are also home to the largest colonies of fulmars and gannets which, together with the isolation and the pounding of the Atlantic, make this a place of enduring fascination and inspiration for Ackroyd. The results of his latest visits, courtesy of the National Trust for Scotland, have been put together in a new collection of etchings, St Kilda Revisited.

Random Journeys, the previous collection, was not focused on a particular place but, as the name implies, includes etchings of favourite places scattered throughout the British Isles. Associated etchings and watercolours will also be exhibited.

Exhibition dates

Open on Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm or by appointment.

These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery
Please contact the gallery for further information.

Exhibition venue: North House Gallery The Walls, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1AS
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