Former Peterborough painter creates artwork for Stonehenge Visitor Centre
A former painter from Peterborough has created new artwork for the Visitor Centre at Stonehenge.
Catherine Headley, who taught at what is now called City College Peterborough was commissioned by English Heritage to piece together 10 collagraph prints to give an “emotive, semi-abstract response to the stones and their surrounding landscape, using pattern, colour and texture, to reflect and amplify a unique sense of place”.
Stonehenge is a World Heritage Site and is the best known prehistoric monument in Europe. Its visitor centre includes an exhibition featuring fascinating artefacts from the time of the Stonehenge builders, many of which are on loan from Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum.
After receiving the request from English Heritage, Catherine was struggling as her print workshop in Leicester was closed due to Covid.
She recalled: “They came back to me saying that they would finance me to purchase an etching press and all equipment necessary. I have now, therefore, a print workshop at the bottom of my garden in Barrowden.
“I had an all-consuming four months from December 2020 to March 2021 of challenge and excitement.
“At MacroArt at St Neots the images were enlarged and transferred using a dye sublimation print process onto fabric banners which now hang in the visitor centre and the imagery is also being carried on merchandise.”
Catherine, who now lives in Rutland, added: “At Stonehenge, I wanted to give my work the energy that emanates from the stones and to reflect their moods, ever changing according to the weather.
“I felt the powerful presence of the stones in an ancient landscape strewn for many miles with earthworks and barrows.
“From aerial images I observed the sweeping curve of the Avenue, once a white path cut into the chalk to connect Stonehenge with a bend in the River Avon. I thought about the axes carved into the stones. I used two colour schemes to reflect the importance of the winter and summer solstices.
“To be asked to produce artwork relating to Stonehenge was a gift, and I have endeavoured to celebrate the delight in Stonehenge and the awe felt by every visitor.”