Artist Lucy Mitchell, known for her installations and for the diversity of her work, will open a show of her collages on Friday at the West Tisbury Public Library in the town center.
The longtime West Tisbury resident, who works in the loft-studio in the remodeled barn that houses husband Rez Williams’ painting studio, spent time living and working in Europe. It was there that she found the inspiration for 12 Pages: A La Ronde, a series of collage drawings.
It was when Ms. Mitchell was living and working in southwest England that she visited A La Ronde, a 16-sided private house built in Devon, England in the 18th century, now owned by the National Trust.
A remarkable edifice, it was the concept of two cousins, Jane and Mary Parminter, who on their return from a 10-year European tour had their young cousin, apprentice architect John Lowder, design the unique structure to house the artifacts, mementoes, curios, and artwork they collected during their travels. It was designed to attract the light from the sun as it moved from east to west so the ladies could end their day in the sunlit oval western tea room.
The Parminters spent the rest of their lives filling the house and decorating the interior, floor to ceiling, with embellishments such as feathers, lichen, seaweed, paint, and paper. It includes a grotto encrusted with 25,000 shells.
After visiting the house, Ms. Mitchell made 16 drawings, one for each of its sides, 12 of which will be displayed at the library.
“I was just fascinated by the idea of the women, living by themselves, making these collections,” Ms. Mitchell says. “I was inspired to draw variations on the theme.”
Ms. Mitchell has been exhibiting in galleries on Martha’s Vineyard since the 1970s, along with other regional galleries. She is represented by The Shaw Cramer Gallery in Vineyard Haven.
Opening reception for Lucy Mitchell’s 12 Pages: A La Ronde, at the West Tisbury Public Library, Friday, June 3, at 4 pm. The show will run through June.