Hiatus proves too much for Pied Beauty

  • 28 December 2018

Jo Dalgety undertook a self-imposed, three month hiatus of art making. The promise was easy enough. She would spend some time thinking, writing and researching. It coincided with a three-month visit to England. August to October, the last of a beautiful summer and the start of a gentle autumn.

To begin with Jo enjoyed looking and feeling her way, using only her camera to record. It didn’t last long, the itch was too much – so rag paper and watercolour pencils in hand, she started small paintings. Visits to London’s Saatchi gallery, V&A, the Royal Academy and Tate galleries all contributed to a new sense of purpose. Home again, she continued the Pied Beauty series. “I wanted to capture my memories of the land, the colours and the weather through my paintings and collage”.

The name of the series, and the titles of the paintings, come from a poem called Pied Beauty by 19th century English poet Gerald Manly Hopkins. It’s never been forgotten from pre-teenage years when she recited poetry in competitions. “I have always loved these words, and they describe very well what I saw and felt.”

Glory be to God for dappled things—

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;

And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.


All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise Him.


Visit Railway Street Gallery to view these lively, mini-masterpieces. Follow the progression as Jo expands on these expressions.

Wish List runs to 20 December. 

Posted by Fiona Cable on December 11, 2018

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