New cards and prints are now available, and there is now a book about Eric Slater.  Read more...

Although Slater produced about half a dozen floral woodcuts, most of his 36 or so prints are landscapes of scenes within a ten mile radius of his Seaford home.  His work received an international audience thanks to some influential patrons and dealers.  Campbell Dodgson, the keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum, was perhaps his most important admirer.  A noted academic and cousin of Lewis Carroll, Dodgson wrote an essay to accompany a print called the Stack Yard which had been commissioned by the Kansas Woodcut Society.  The Stack Yard is typical Slater. In the foreground a horse drawn cart is bringing a crop to a yard where it will be stacked before being separated into grain and straw.  Beyond, the river meanders towards the sea at Cuckmere Haven.  The small figure is insignificant compared to the big sky and green landscape.  The 1938 design, one of Slater's last, is bold, simple and pleasing to the eye.

                                    Stackyard by Eric Slater, copyright
                                     James Trollope
The Stack Yard, Eric Slater, 1938
                                    Head by Eric Slater, copyright 
                                    James Trollope
Seaford Head, Eric Slater, 1930
  Eight years earlier, Slater produced a print of Seaford Head which won the gold medal in an international exhibition organised by the Society of Printmakers of California. It was made using 10 woodblocks and has many of Slater's trademarks: a big sky, a palette of greens, purples, blues and browns and a strong design with small figures.  Looking at it is rather like walking into a well proportioned room; you feel a rush of pleasure without immediately understanding why. 

Slater is one of a small group of artists who borrowed Japanese woodcut techniques to create a very English feel.  As Japan opened up to the West towards the end of the 19th century there was an exchange of ideas which enriched both traditions.  The first Western colour woodcuts made in the Japanese style date from the 1890s, Slater was in the second wave of a group of English colour woodcut artists who were producing affordable art up until the Second World War.  Afterwards fashions changed and many printers favoured other methods such as linocuts, lithographs and screenprints. 


Whichelsea by Eric
                          Slater, copyright  James Trollope Stream by Eric Slater,
                          copyright  James Trollope Fishing Boats by
                          Eric Slater, copyright  James Trollope
Winchelsea, Eric Slater Stream, Eric Slater Fishing Boats, Eric Slater

All of Eric Slater's woodcuts are copyright James Trollope - no reproduction without permission -