Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery - Springlines


Exploring hidden and mysterious bodies of water Paintings by Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis and words by Clare Best

They chased out sunlight, charcoaled the woods, flooded the Weald with noise and smoke. For three hundred years the sky was dark. Now streams and lakes are lucent, hushed – no hammers, no forges, no cannon, no soot, but fire that smoulders in rusty pools.

Ironmakers, 2016 by Clare Best

During the drought of 2012, writer Clare Best and painter Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis went in search of bodies of water that are concealed, forgotten or overlooked.

They found places rich in history, wildlife, culture and myth. Through Springlines , Mary Anne’s paintings and Clare’s words celebrate the variety and vitality of this water.

Their work explores some of the most evocative hidden corners of the English landscape – from dewponds to ancient wells, from old clay pits to furnace ponds, from chalk springs to man-made pools.

For this exhibition Clare and Mary Anne have developed some new work for their Springlines project, reflecting the overlooked water sources of Tunbridge Wells. Inspired by the collections at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery and walks throughout the Borough, their paintings, photographs and poetry capture the essence of our natural and industrial heritage.

The exhibition also features objects, prints and paintings from the Museum collection.

This exhibition is open from Friday 9 June to Saturday 14 October 2017.