Flora McLachlan | The Holy Wells Series

  • Overview

    Flora McLachlan returns to the gallery to present a new collection of etchings – The Holy Wells Series.


    The narratives continue to explore Flora’s interests in transformation, immersion, dream and reality. Deeply inspired by the myths and legends of Pembrokeshire where she has made her home, she considers stories as spells and how we can move within them to change them…. 


    Flora says: 'For this series of etchings I worked with a water-soluble etch resist called white ground which is made from oil, soap and pigment. It can be diluted with water and washed across the copper plate to make beautiful painterly textures. I was making these works around two stories surrounding two holy wells or springs near where I live in Pembrokeshire. I mixed the well water with the white ground, letting it flow across the copper plate, and then painted into it with a brush to convey something of the spirit of place as I felt it. The imagery was informed by the history and local myths surrounding each well. Early Christian pilgrims, water maidens, and bathing women are all moving in and out of the wooded shadows.


    This approach is one of simple divination, like reading tea leaves; or perhaps I could describe it as a state of open listening to what might be there. Born of reflection and contemplation, my process echoes the hushed state of mind of someone visiting a significant place, caught up in the simple magic of water bubbling up out of the ground.


    The stories, written by Diana Powell, and my etchings inspired by the places and stories, have been woven together in a small chapbook called Song of the Water, published by Parthian Books in 2023. '


  • Works