Explore the following article and artworks by Adam David Taylor, a painter, who talks about his connection to the rural environment and how he took inspiration from his move to Pembrokeshire in Wales.
Rain pelted the shoreline as I arrived at the place I would now call home. Pembrokeshire. It was a far cry from my previous existence in London. The juxtaposition between this new life and my now old life as a musician in a band was stark; mirroring the landscape that greeted me. This contrast was a heightened shock to the system as my chaotic city life in Hackney had all come to a rather abrupt ending, but there was something comforting about my new dwelling – a pastel painted Georgian building overlooking a quiet harbour. During that first Winter, I spent my days walking along the beautiful, weathered coastline trying to figure out my next move. Fortunately, I found work with a foraging company, and spent my days picking sea blight, sandwort, lava bread, sea lettuce, sea beet, channel wrack and sea cabbage. Hours upon hours spent in the forests, beaches and estuaries of West Wales, soaked to the skin and battered by the cold winds. I started painting more and more, mainly the still life I’d relied upon in Art School, but before long the influence of the land and sea surrounding me began to seep into my work. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but looking back, this enforced time out in the wet, windswept wilderness of rural Wales was also seeping into my skin and my subconscious. My paintings became more abstract, darker and looser. I’d always painted with oils but was now using and experimenting with different mediums. I started layering using enamel (oil-based house paint) as a base and rubbing in a thin layer of black, leaving a distressed surface reminiscent of the grey seas and hillsides around me. My work felt raw and organic. A few years ago, we moved not too far from the harbour and bought a little cottage. The studio I have there is an old coal shed in the garden. It must be the smallest studio any artist has ever had, but it’s mine and I love it. It has many disadvantages, but it houses our boiler, so even in the depths of winter it is t-shirt temperature. A few years ago I went part time with the foraging company and I now spend the majority of my days painting. After growing up in a large town and moving to the city as an adult, I would now never want to leave my rural life and the sense of freedom it brings. Words & Paintings by Adam David Taylor | @adam_david_taylor