This month’s cover was created by local printmaker Teresa Winchester, whose lino prints are sometimes inspired by her favourite stories. She says: “I loved reading as a child, but storytelling is not just for children at all – if you think about the Grimms’ Tales, they’re pretty grim, aren’t they? Bones and boiling up little boys to make a stew… I loved stories like that, anything that took me out of this
world, I think. I want people to look at my prints and devise their own narrative. You could take them
at all sorts of levels; you could just look at one and think, that’s something I might put on the wall of
my children’s nursery, or you might start to wonder, actually, where’s this little trip in a boat going? And quite what is the relationship between these two? And you can let your mind wander with it.
“Ideas often come into mind as I’m drifting off to sleep. I think that’s probably quite fertile ground for a lot of artists, because your mind relaxes and images come into your head, and sometimes they
stay there until the next day. I like the stories to be sort of open ended. It’s really delightful when
you’ve got your work up on the wall and you’re just sitting there, listening to what people are saying
and what they’re speculating about. Some people get a little amusement from them, other people find
them a bit dark. It’s really interesting how different people have different perspectives on them.
“A lot of my work seems to be about travelling – maybe that’s because I travel a lot. I’ve taken my
work to India, to Turkey, South America… we’ve been to South Africa, we’ve been to Asia, Thailand,
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China. I recently visited Ethiopia and spent time with the Mursi
tribe; I just sat down amongst them and started drawing. I’d draw their faces. They are different
- it’s a different culture, but, they’re like us, they laugh at things. People often ask, does it affect your
work? I go to India a lot, and I don’t come back and draw little elephants, but its colours, its patterns are really something that influence me, and the foliage that you see there.
“I have done some prints with people in them, but I love the animals; I love the textures and patterns of them. Sometimes they sort of embody a human attitude. There’s one – Waltzing With a Wolf – in
which the hare has a very defiant attitude, and it’s actually the wolf that’s looking a bit sheepish. Very
recently one was bought for an old lady of 99, and she really wanted this print, apparently, so while
I was away in India it was sent out to her. When I got back there was an envelope sitting there on the
printing press waiting for me, and it was a letter from this lovely lady. In the letter she told me that
ten years ago she lost her partner, and that she used to go dancing with him and he was her gentle
wolf. So it’s a great reward, this sort of interaction, which I feel you wouldn’t get if you were doing
something like a landscape. Somehow this seems to access something deeper down.”
Teresa’s exhibition ‘The Stuff of Dreams’ continues at Pelham House in Lewes until July 4th.