As part of our HLF Collecting Cultures project we are keen to represent many different forms of creativity in the acquisitions we make for our Wiltshire museums. Many of our creative residents have been inspired by the Wiltshire landscape and we are pleased to have purchased these woodcuts for Salisbury Museum by Howard Phipps who lives in south west Wiltshire.
Howard Phipps is inspired both by the landscape and the work of writers, such as Edward Thomas, and more recently Roland Gant. He has been inspired by Gant’s poem, “Mountains in the Mind” to create “beech tree cloister” – a line of beech trees along a track overlooking a coombe; absolutely typical of the Wiltshire landscape. He is also inspired by the Ebble valley, architecture such as Reddish House, once inhabited by Cecil Beaton, and the small parish church at Fifield Bavant in its setting above the Ebble and facing the downs.
We asked Adrian Green, curator at Salisbury Museum, to choose six prints to add to their collection and we also chose three prints to add to our Historic Photograph and Print collection, here at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. One of our choices is of the engraver at work and we think it apt to reflect the printmaker’s art by showing the method used.
We would also like to thank the generosity of Howard Phipps who has made two personal choices to add to the Salisbury Museum collection. He decided upon Malacombe Bottom and Ox Drove for inclusion in the project, feeling “they are both representative of Wiltshire landscapes significant to me.” We are delighted; it’s wonderful to have the imput of the artist himself, working with curators for the benefit of local communities. We hope to have all prints on display during the course of our Creative Wiltshire project, so watch this space!