Portland & the Isle of Purbeck

My favourite place in England is the south coast County of Dorset. Portland Bill is like one giant lump of rock sticking out into the sea and from pre-historic to present day the stone has been quarried, worked and moved using massive amounts of effort and determination.

Along the coastline are deserted or "resting" quarries left just as they were abandoned with stacks of partly dressed stone waiting patiently for shipment.

These are magical places. Exposed strata, scarred surfaces, huge volumes of block and waste stone all present one with man's relationship with stone just as much as the sites of prehistory.

I have tried to paint the enduring quality of the material and also some of the abandoned hoists, chains and tackle used to handle the huge blocks.

Further along the coast on the inland "Isle" of Purbeck the domestic and agricultural use of stone in walls has the intuitive flow of the landscape caught in the rise and fall of the courses, some from Napoleonic times. The effects of animals, ivy, trees and roots does amazing things to the stone which feature in many of my paintings.