ELIZABETH Frink is now showing at the Young Gallery until July 4, and if you like her work you will surely like this exhibition. I’m not a great fan, so the catalogue’s description of her works on paper as “some of the most powerful and sublime drawings of the 20th Century” leaves me nonplussed.

In Salisbury we’re very familiar with Frink as we pass by her ‘Walking Madonna’ in the Close so often we scarcely notice it. It seems a strange choice for cathedral grounds, this woman hurrying away from the Church. More recently she has taken on a more confident air, as Lynn Chadwick’s ‘Cloaked Figure’ looks unlikely to catch her up.

Female figures very rarely provide the subject in Frink’s work, which mostly features males and horses. This is reflected in the Young Gallery show, called ‘Frink: on Paper’. It is composed of prints (aquatint, litho and screen), watercolours and graphite drawings. The most successful for me is ‘Crucifixion’, a bold and stark drawing in ink from 1950.

It’s interesting that Frink and Howard Hodgkin were contemporaries.

How different their output! It’s the sense of wonder and surprise in Hodgkin that I find missing in Frink’s art, where I see little inspiration in the marks she makes.

Showing with Hodgkin at New Art Centre, Roche Court is the intriguing 3D work of Conrad Shawcross. Appearing to be mathematical models, these sculptures turn out to be precisely that. Shawcross takes simple harmonic relationships and translates them into three dimensions.

A bit like making a sculpture to represent a musical chord.

The results are either tubular or triangular projections and they look quite beguiling. What struck me most forcefully was how the sculpture is an almost perfect complement to the gallery space.

Wylye Valley Art Trail finished last weekend, and proved food for thought for those of us planning to take part in Salisbury’s Art Trail later this year. I found my neighbour Julie Ayton moonlighting in Matthew Burt’s furniture showroom in Hindon.

The setting was perfect for Ayton’s pots, which along with Ruth Dresman’s etched glass, provided something affordable on top of the furniture (the price does reflect the quality). Burt also has a new workshop in Hindon, and here I found Howard Phipps showing his wood engravings.

These are simply exquisite: Phipps has the technique, a sense of composition and the ability to exploit light and shade in what are often tiny prints. It is clear that he has a strong affinity for his subject, which is often the landscape between Salisbury and Shaftesbury.

Bringing artists like these together seems to me to be the right solution for an arts trail.

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