Inspiration on the Canal

Here at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre we have been lucky enough to acquire some works by the artist Dru Marland. Dru lives on a narrow boat, traversing much of the west of England by canal, but particularly the Kennet and Avon. Having started out as a poet, Dru now enjoys experimenting with artistic techniques and continuing to learn more about her skills and craft.

West end map of the Kennet and Avon Canal ©Dru Marland

Dru’s work gives a unique insight into the workings of the canal system, and also depicts the places and wildlife that can be seen along the way, intrinsic parts of the Wiltshire countryside. She creates beautifully illustrated maps and also drawings of wildlife. Her work has a gentle, open and comforting quality that draws you in – to spend time looking at the complexity and detail in her drawings.

“The more you look, the more you see…” Dru finds that drawing is a way to get to know things better.

A Badger at Avoncliffe ©Dru Marland

Dru loves exploring the countryside and viewing the local wildlife which so inspires her work. Her illustrations have appeared in several books including ‘Edinburgh Midnight’ by poet Hugh MacDiarmid.

Her love of wildlife is reflected in her latest book, Drawn Chorus, an illustrated poetry alphabet of British birds. You can read more about Dru’s life on the canal in her Blog and you can purchase her artworks via Etsy.

Julie Davis
County Local Studies Librarian
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre

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