Kingston artist Pete Mountford on the inspiration of Silent Pool
- Credit: Various - do not re-use without permission
Pete Mountford is an artist intrigued by one particular corner of Surrey.
Following a visit to Silent Pool from his house in Kingston in 2001, he endeavoured to capture the spirit of the area on canvas.
“I was really taken by the pond and its surroundings and excited to discover it hidden behind the busy A25,” says Peter. “I found an instant connection in terms of its natural calmness and focused energy. I loved the stillness and the incredible beauty of the scattered light through the trees.”
Initially, Peter executed six paintings and when he started to teach art in the area a few years later, he found his students were equally captivated by the area. But something was troubling him…
“Every time I re-visited, I realised I was not quite happy with my original work. I felt the overt painterly brush strokes and inevitable echoes of Impressionism were a bit clichéd. Hence, over the past ten years or so, I have experimented by re-working them with photography and mixed media, which has been incredibly exciting.
“I use anything that inspires me – from corrector pens to nail varnish. Using these different materials somehow creates a dialogue between the various works and sets up further questions for the viewer.”
Silent Pool is a spring-fed lake at the foot of the North Downs near Shere, which, until recently, had become overgrown. A myth concerning a young maiden who drowned in the pool after being frightened by a horseman adds to the atmosphere of this bewitching yet beautiful area.
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The area is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust and forms part of the privately owned Albury Estate.
The adjoining Albury Vineyard plans to show Pete’s work when the new visitors’ centre is opened later this year.
Silent Pool, Shere Road, Albury, Guildford GU5 9BW. Find out more at surreywildlifetrust.org