The Suffolk Coast’s magnetic beauty has drawn in artists for centuries, from the renowned Scottish architect, Charles Rennie Macintosh, to Maggie Hambling, whose iconic sculpture The Scallop dominates Aldeburgh beach. Suffolk’s coastal artists use a variety of different styles and techniques, but they all have one thing in common: they take their inspiration from the landscape around them.
One of the towns loved by Suffolk’s artists is Walberswick, where Charles Rennie Macintosh chose to live for a year in 1914, painting botanical sketches of plants and flowers he found in the surrounding heaths and woodlands.
Today Walberswick is home to a community of artists who exhibit together at the town’s gallery. One of these artists is Jo Lowrie, a Walberswick resident and oil painter.
“My inspiration is the Suffolk coastal sky, and the creeks, reed beds and dramatic seascapes below,” says Jo. In her own words, her work is intuitively inspired by the ‘essence’ of The Suffolk Coast, and its subtle, atmospheric colours.
Less than a mile away inSouthwold, painter and photographer Marc Brown spends his days swimming in the mercurial North Sea, and producing exquisitely balanced paintings of the sea and sky [top]. His fascination with coastal painting began when he moved away from Southwold to go to university:
“The absence of all the so familiar sights, smells and sounds of the sea really made me ‘wake up’ to just how big a part of me it really was. I began collecting old secondhand books about the East Anglian coast and seamanship manuals – anything that would pull me back to the remote and ancient coast of Suffolk all those miles away.”
Printmaker Mandy Walden also has a fascination with The Suffolk Coast, though she chooses a different method of expression. Her stylistic pictures tell the story of whole towns; buildings, boats and birds twist and wind around each other, creating a perfect coastal microcosm of streets, sea and sky [left].