Textile students from Llanfyllin High School recently visited the Eleri Mills exhibition in Oriel Davies in Newtown, to participate in a practical drawing and mark-making workshop.

The exhibition, called ‘Egni – A Decade of Creativity’ was inspiration to the students who were privileged to work with Eleri herself. Eleri Mills explores the depths, balance and rhythm of her landscape here in Mid Wales.

The exhibition has been curated by Philip Hughes, director of Ruthin Craft Centre, and is the first major exhibition of her work in Mid Wales for 30 years.

The pupils were treated to a most informative talk about the work, after which Eleri led a guided tour around the paintings and drawings, some of which are embellished with stitch. Eleri invited the pupils to visually explore her work in the gallery, by responding to what they saw, using a range of marks, in pencil, pen, charcoal and ink.

Jess Evans in Year 12 saidL “I enjoyed the workshop – it was an experience I’ll never forget! Being able to work alongside an artist was incredible and I learnt so much from her.”

The 16 students found themselves fascinated with the huge scale of Eleri’s moody, black, inky drawings showing the rhythms of our very familiar Montgomeryshire landscape, but in a fresh and challenging way. Eleri uses thin washes of Acrylic paint, combined with Indian ink, then layers these up further in a raw and exciting way with collage and large stitches.

Some of the students found that the marks in Eleri Mills’ work were real stitches, while others were implied – they looked like stitch, but were created with beautiful lines of ink instead.

The students’ work from the gallery will go on display at the annual A Level Art Show at the High School in late June.