‘Seaside surrealism’ was Paul Nash’s assessment of the uncanny coastline of Dorset, where he lived in the mid 1930s. Swans on the ocean, ammonites in the rock, driftwood gnarled into human form: everything seemed somehow out of place, resonant. Cliffs stacked up time in visible strata. A walk on the beach was a walk among objets trouvés.
Jeremy Gardiner isn’t exactly a surrealist, but his depictions of the Jurassic Coast share Nash’s delight in formal experiment, geometrical form, and the resonance of found objects. The 60-odd works on show at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath range in date from 1996 to 2014 – in a way, the exhibition itself constitutes the kind of geological slice of time that so many of Gardiner’s works resemble – and display a remarkable consistency of vision. Two main forms are on display, as well as a couple of small etchings.