Dorset County Museum is pleased to present an exhibition by Merrily Harpur, the well-known cartoonist and illustrator, her work having appeared regularly in all the national broadsheets, and in books by Kingsley Amis, Miles Kington, Gerald Durrell, John Michell and others. She also found time to write the authoritative study of Britain’s mystery big cats – the panther- and puma-like creatures regularly spotted in our countryside, not least in Dorset.
However she has always been a secret painter of landscapes, and upon moving to this county fell hopelessly in love with its beauties and surprises – the unexpected changes of angle and perspective that West Dorset offers with each half mile travelled. She paints en plein air or, more accurately, in situ – sitting in the car, enjoying the scent of turpentine and listening to Radio 3. If you spot a mossy, mud-bespattered car in an unlikely corner of a field or lane, this could be her – probably paint-bespattered – attempting to conjure up, in paint, the genius loci – the particular magic of our place.
She now lives and paints in Cattistock, where in 2013 she inaugurated the Fox Festival, and wrote the libretto for Nick Morris’s acclaimed oratorio The Fox That Walked on Water.
Merrily’s work will be on view from 16 January 2017 – 1 April 2017 in the museum’s Tea Room, and it will be FREE to come and view. Her work will be for sale during the exhibition.