Inspired By The Coast
Life isn't about waiting for a storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain. - Vivian Greene
Generations of artists, craftspeople, writers and musicians have used the South West Coast Path as their muse, its inspiration reflected in their work. From noted authors like Daphne Du Maurier, Rudyard Kipling and Agatha Christie to iconic sculptors like Barbara Hepworth and Sir Antony Gormley, all have left their mark.
Today, the Coast Path continues to inspire so many people to create works of art that express their thoughts and feelings in new and unique ways. As part of Every Mile Matters, we’re sharing just some examples of the amazing works being created – all Inspired By The Coast.
We’d like to say a big thank you to all the artists who are working with us on this project. With the Trail off limits for so many of us just now, we hope the collection we are curating will bring some comfort and solace until we can all return to the places we love.
If you're an artist whose work has been inspired by the coast, be it poetry, prose, painting or pottery – get in touch to see how you can be involved. We'll be updating this page regularly so check back often to see more great work.
We also have a 'Have a Go' Coast Path Crafts page with fun activities for you to get creative.
Linocut artist Keith Tunnicliffe
Award-winning author Raynor Winn
One of the most popular books inspired by the South West Coast Path, is The Salt Path. It's a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlised for both the 2018 Costa Biography Award & The Wainwright Prize. It tells the true story of a couple who lost everything and embarked on a 630 mile journey of salvation. Here at the Association, we're lucky to have author Raynor Winn as an offical amabassador for our charity, and as part of Inspired By The Coast Raynor has recorded this speacial reading. Enjoy!
Meet artist Gemma Lessinger
Based in Newquay, Gemma Lessinger creates textural and sensory pieces inspired by the coast of Cornwall like this one titled 'Shoreline Crantock'.
Gemma says “With the stunning Cornish coast on my studio doorstep, I paint to try to convey the sheer beauty of the beaches of Cornwall. I am mesmerised by the immense power of the waves and the colours that appear in the deep waters. I paint so that people can feel the sea spray on their skin and the sand between their toes. The Covid 19 pandemic has made this even more important to me – to share the beauty of what people can’t currently reach.
The South West Coast Path enables me to explore these stunning parts of our county. It is my absolute favourite past time – packing up the car with a picnic and the walking boots and heading off to explore a new part of the path. The extraordinary thing for me is that I keep discovering a new section! A new vantage over a view I thought I knew inside out. Discovering a new little cove between two beaches I have spent endless hours on. Without the South West Coast Path half of my paintings would not exist.
These Hands Make Wood Cuts by Merlyn Chesterman
This beautiful film from film maker Jess Pearson from North Devon captures Merlyn Chesterman, a print maker from Hartland, at work.
Merlyn said ‘The sea is of daily interest to me, whether I am in it or on it or watching it. To be in it marks the moment, now, between the past and the future. Nothing else matters. I swim most days. To be on it is a journey. And when I am looking, it is to try to begin to understand. And then I do what I do, make woodblock prints.’
More of Merlyn’s work can be found on her website. This film is part of Jess’s ‘Maker Series’ which celebrates local ‘artists and their making in the modern world’ to see others in the series click here.
Meet artist Kurt Jackson
Contemporary British landscape artist Kurt Jackson is Dorset born and now lives in Cornwall. He has an amazing collection of works Inspired By The Coast. Watch the video to discover more about him as an artist, environmentalist, and click here to see some of his south west based work including his fascinating Turner's Tourism project.
'Selkie' a poem by Daisy Edwards
Transport yourself to the coast with this evocative poem from Daisy Edwards, inspired by the sights, sounds and sense of longing conjured up by the sea.
'Wow' a poem by Rob Casey
Thank you to Rob Casey for penning this original poem about the wonders of the South West Coast Path. You can find all the details of the photos we've used to illustrate this poem in the description of the video. Find more from Rob on his blog.
Coastal art by Leah Wade 'From Land and Sea'
Designer Leah Wade shares her coastal inspired art with us and explains why the Path is so important to her:
"There is nothing quite like the Coast Path. Being able to follow the path ahead of you allows you to truly take the time to absorb the beauty of the coast and clear your mind. It is medicinal and has been my go to when I need that feeling of freedom and peace. The SWCP is the home to our adventures. The trigger for our walking passion and the initial inspiration behind us developing From Land and Sea; a way to celebrate our adventures and share our love for the great outdoors."
Find more from Leah on her Instagram.
Paintings by Lydia Jane Duncan
A selection of pieces from artist, printmaker, painter and surface pattern designer Lydia Jane Duncan. Check out more of her work here @candyland_studios_thegallery
Somerset by Liv Torc
Home to the start of our beloved National Trail, Liv Torc tells us about the hidden wonders of Somerset in this beautiful poem on the theme of home truths. Get to know Liv and her work over at her website.
Cream Tea Philosophy by Rob Casey
Are you jam or cream first? Either way, make a brew and enjoy this brilliant poem by the Bard of Exeter City FC, Rob Casey. Find more from Rob on his blog.
Prayer by Tim Scotson