#ContemporaryArtMonday: Diana Croft's The Church on the Hill

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Posted 29th January 2018

Printmaking at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village

Printmaking is important in the history of Watts Gallery – Artists' Village. In the years immediately preceding the First World War, Mary Watts collaborated with the great printer Emery Walker to establish a print making studio at the Artist's Village, where a sequence of reproductions of the most famous pictures of G F Watts were produced. These richly coloured painterly photogravures were distributed and sold through London print dealers.

Today, Diana Croft is continuing this tradition at Watts Gallery - Artists' Village. As her popular exhibition, Diana Croft: Colour Pattern Texture, enters the last weeks of its run at Watts Contemporary Gallery, we're sharing Diana's own words on one of her most recognisable works, its most prominent themes, and what inspired her to create it.

The Church on the Hill

The Church on the Hill, the image used to advertise my exhibition, is one of my favourite pieces.

It is a hand-coloured linocut of St Martha's Church, situated on the Pilgrims Way between Guildford and Chilworth. The site is ancient, with a 12th century church predating the one that stands there now (it was rebuilt in the late 1840s but retains many of the original features). Set high on a sandy hill and only accessible on foot, the church enjoys expansive views across the Surrey countryside.

It is a place with a particular atmosphere and I like to imagine all the people over the centuries who have struggled up the steep hill to worship there. Although my interpretation of it is very stylised, people still seem to recognise the location; I feel that I must have captured something of its essence, which is gratifying.

Diana Croft