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Artist-in-Residence 2018: Merlyn Chesterman

As part of the 2018-2019 KFBG Artist in Residence programme, UK based artist printmaker Merlyn Chesterman created an original woodcut inspired by the natural landscape of KGBG between late October and early November 2018, showcasing the vibrant and unrestrained gestures of the native plants. Merlyn received inspiration from the staff in different departments, including a walk with Dr Stephan W. Gale from the Flora Conservation Department. From a tour around the gardens and woodland she explored and learnt about the intricate forms and growing environment of some of the native plants of Hong Kong.

Merlyn Chesterman
Woodblock Print
75cmH x 55cmW


Native plants and animal included in the print:

1. Dendrobium spp. 
2. Chinese fan palm Livistona chinensis
3. Birdwood's Mucuna Mucuna birdwoodiana
4. Angiopteris fokiensis
5. Bird's Nest Fern Asplenium nidus
6. Strobilanthes cusia
7. Musa balbisiana
8. Hong Kong Mucuna Mucuna championii
9. Giant taro Alocasia macrorrhizos
10.Hong Kong Newt Paramesotriton hongkongensis


The 'Kadoorie's Living Tapestry' woodprint is now being exhibited at the Art House until 31 December 2018, visitors are welcomed to appreciate the artwork and join the woodprint workshop during the opening hours.

About the Artist:
Merlyn Chesterman is a UK-based artist. She grew up in Hong Kong and graduated from Bath Academy of Art, Corsham, in the UK, following her degree in Fine Art with a Diploma in Education. Since 1977, she has been active in the international art field and has participated in exhibitions around the world, including the United Kingdom, China, the United States and Europe. She has participated in different artist-in-residence programmes worldwide and received various art awards, funding and sponsorships. Her artworks have been collected by the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, etc.
She is now a full-time artist, and printmaking tutor at of West Dean College, Senior fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and a member of the artist group Pine Feroda. Merlyn is also the author of the much-celebrated book Making Woodblock Prints (2015).

Artist’s notes:
‘I was very lucky to be given a large block of camphor wood for making this woodblock print. It was the first time I have used this kind of wood, and I had to adapt my way of working. It was much harder than anything I have used before, but also, wonderfully compliant, being endgrain rather than sidegrain, and every time I cut away, the beautiful aroma accosted me and all those around me. The print took me 8 days to carve, and another 5 to proof and print an edition of 30, titled Kadoorie’s Living Tapestry, collaboratively named by Dame Jane Goodall and me.'



Interview with Merlyn Chesterman (Part I):

Interview with Merlyn Chesterman (Part II):

Activity Report:
Follow the Lines: Whispers from the Woods 3-Day Nature and Art Residential Workshop with Merlyn Chesterman