• Clearwell series study No.4
Clearwell series study No.4
Natural earth pigments on board
325 x 325mm

An interview with artist Peter Horrocks about his work and use of ochre and pigments, specifically mined from Clearwell Caves.

My work is characterised by a concern for abstraction, carefully constructed structures and a sensual handling of forms.

Initial images are often drawn from landscape sources with themes such as ‘Earth Works’, ‘Landmarks’ and ‘Traces’. The themes explore marks left behind in nature. I am always more interested in fragments of the landscape and geological features rather than the picturesquue. I like to work on a series of images at the same time and enjoy the way the works interact with each other – one work teaches me about the next.

I specialise in the use of natural earth pigments mainly  from the Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean, where ochres have been mined since Roman times. I have been 300 feet down the old iron ore mines at Clearwell to source the ochres myself. Other pigments are sourced on my travels in France, Australia and New Zealand.

Traces Crossover No 2

The dry pigment  is rubbed onto the surface of an acid free board. If the work has a predetermined structure the lines are first incised into the board using various scribers so that the drawing becomes a physical part of the work.

Other works explore the combination of textural qualities. Layers of gesso, plaster, pigment, slate dust and slate pieces are applied to panels. Surfaces are layered, revealing colours beneath the surface by scraping, rubbing, digging and sanding.


In These Stones Horizons Sing

Drawing for me is an act of discovery and is a regular studio activity The works themselves are marks I leave behind, and in that sense, are traces where I have been in the creative process.