A CONTEMPORARY art gallery is launching its summer exhibition with a demonstration by a Hampshire stone carver.

Rachel Bebb Contemporary’s summer showcase ‘Leaning into the Light’ opens on Friday, May 12 with a private viewing and presentation by stone carver Zoë Wilson, who lives and works in Houghton.

The exhibition will feature sculpture, ceramics, original prints, letter carving and engraved glass, with pieces inspired by the natural world and environmental concerns.

Hampshire Chronicle: Forest Passengers by Sadie Brockbank MRSS

Zoë is one of several artists making their debut at the gallery in Broughton, near Stockbridge. The stone carver creates complex geometric sculptures from mainly British stones and received a scholarship from The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST), a charity that supports the continuation of traditional British crafts.

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The Hampshire artist said: "It takes complete concentration and patience to carve complex geometry, a process I find to be both challenging and calming. It’s beautifully simple, I only use a mallet and a couple of chisels to create the designs.

“Our eyes have become accustomed to seeing the accuracy that machine production creates. This increases the technical challenge of carving something satisfying to look at.
“The most fascinating part for me is the centre of the patterns. It’s the most difficult to carve and the part with least room for error. I find this technical challenge of my skill exhilarating.

Hampshire Chronicle: Vertex (Corse Hill sandstone) by Zoë Wilson
“I cherish the process of stone carving and the slowness of the craft. For me it feels like a privilege to make something slowly and thoughtfully. While I am quite quick at carving now it still isn’t something which can be rushed and there are certainly no shortcuts.

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“I’m always aware of how long the process has been for the material to be formed. This makes me strive to produce something which is worthy of its creation process."

Other exhibiting artists include: Lisi Ashbridge, Peter Beard, Neil Bousfield, Kit Boyd, Sadie Brockbank MRSS, Merlyn Chesterman RE, Nadine Collinson, Sasha Constable, Sioban Coppinger, Blaze Cyan RE, Nicholas Durnan, Sally Fawkes MRSS, Fiona Fouhy, Peter Furlonger, Carolyn Genders, Pip Hall, Bjork Haraldsdottir, Joseph Hillier FRSS, Richard Jackson MRSS, Charlie Macpherson, Flora McLachlan, Eric Marland, Maya Martin, Roberta Mason, Charlotte Mayer (1929 - 2022), Rosie Musgrave, Emily Myers, Rebecca Newnham, Peter Randall-Page, Jackie Perkins, Alex Relph, Ben Russell, Antonia Salmon, Tracey Sheppard FGE, Cameron Short, Will Spankie, Roger Stephens, Annet Stirling, Frans Wesselman and Neil Wilkin.

Leaning into the Light continues at the gallery in Rookery Lane until June 10 on Fridays 11am-4pm and Saturdays 11am-2pm following the private view on May 12 and 13.