More MS news articles for September 2002

Brush with illness defines artist's paintings
Exhibition: Jean Letts, Kilvert Gallery, Clyro

August 29, 2002, Thursday
Hannah Jones
Western Mail

THE house where the Rev Francis Kilvert lodged to write part of his famous diaries about mid-Victorian rural life is now an independent contemporary art gallery.

The Kilvert Gallery in Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye, is living up to its reputation with an exhibition by Jean Letts, whose style has been heavily influenced by her upbringing in Kilvert country, with the Black Mountains as a backdrop. Yet her work has been subjected to a harsher and more defining influence - her health.

At the age of 11 she contracted polio which led to multiple sclerosis from which she now suffers.

Yet she finds that the limitations this places on her have had a curiously positive effect.

"It's determined the type of mark I make on the canvas, whether with the brush or the oil sticks I find so rewarding to use," she says.

"I don't spend too much time on detail that can often distract from the essential design of the picture."

The work of Jean Letts can be seen at the Kilvert Gallery throughout September.

© Copyright 2002 Western Mail and Echo Ltd