When Westover Gallery invited Kristjana S Williams to Bournemouth this year we knew she’d be bringing some incredible work. But there was one artwork we were particularly excited about; one of the best paintings of Dorset we’ve seen in over a decade of trading in the heart of Bournemouth.A special commission just for the gallery, Gull Sandur/Svartir Steinar (or Golden Sands/Black Stones in English) features landmarks, fauna and flora from Dorset. These limited edition paintings of Dorset celebrate Bournemouth, Poole and the surrounding area in Kristjana’s signature style.But creating paintings of Dorset isn’t something the Icelandic born artist has done before. While much of her illustrated collages combine wildlife, fauna and local landmarks, her previous works feature countries like Japan, Mexico and cities such as New York and London. Kristjana’s work has been exhibited all over the world, including Los Angeles, Singapore and New York. In 2018 she was commissioned to design Coldplay’s live album, A Head Full of Dreams: Live in Buenos Aires. A stunning mixed media creation, it featured whimsical reimagined animals intrinsic to her style.There are so many references to the South West Coast in Gull Sandur/Svartir Steinar, including Brownsea Island, Mary Shelley and the Jurassic Coast. Here are just some of the Dorset references hidden in one of our favourite paintings of Dorset.
Welcome to BournemouthVisitors and locals will know the sight well. Upon driving through the New Forest and into Bournemouth you’ll pass the bold, blue ‘Welcome to Bournemouth’ sign. A welcome home after a long journey and a friendly hello to anyone paying a visit!
Brownsea Island Red SquirrelOne of the best places in the world to spot the beautiful red squirrel is right here in Dorset on the beautiful Brownsea Island. One of the largest islands in Poole Harbour, Brownsea Island is one of the few places you can see indigenous red squirrels as grey squirrels were never introduced to the island.
Bournemouth BalloonDo you remember Bournemouth’s famous hot air balloon? Based in Bournemouth Lower Gardens for over 15 years, at 22m wide, 33m high, with a circumference of 69m it flew at 150m carrying up to 28 passengers! Sadly retired in 2017, those who grew up in or visited Bournemouth won’t forget this sight in the sky!
Beach HutsYou couldn’t think of our coastline without thinking of beach huts! Whether at Mudeford Sandbanks, toward Boscombe pier or at Branksome Chine, our colourful beach huts are just one of the reasons we’re the coast with the most!
Mary Shelley’s FrankensteinGreat novelist and author of the genre-defining Frankenstein, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s final resting place is St. Peters Church in Bournemouth, and the town now forever linked to the author.
Poole’s PiratesPoole is so famous for its pirates that the Spanish naval fleet attacked the town in 1405, burning and looting it in revenge of the exploits of Poole’s most famous pirate, privateer and smuggler Henry Paye.
Dinosaurs of the Jurassic CoastOne of the best places in the world find fossils of the Jurassic period, the World Heritage Site Jurassic Coast covers 95 miles of coastline with rocks running from around 250 to 65 million years ago. Famous fossil collector and palaeontologist Mary Anning made important finds in the 19th century like the Ichthyosaur and Plesiosaur, which feature Kristjana’s artwork.
Russell-Cotes MuseumOverlooking Bournemouth coastline, neighbouring art gallery & museum the Russel-Cotes has remarkable architecture and an interesting collection. After enjoying Westover Gallery’s collection of contemporary art, you can enjoy a whole different era of artwork with the Russel-Cotes historic collection.
Red Arrows AirshowBournemouth Air Festival is the largest in the UK. A staple of the unmissable weekend is the world-famous Red Arrows. Now forever part of East Overcliff skyline is the 5m-high memorial statue to Red Arrows pilot Jon Egging. With three glass Red Arrows planes and stainless steel contrails, it is a mark of respect to pilot.
Dorset FloraWhether it be the cheerful, yellow Golden-samphire along the coastal cliffs or Studland’s purple-pink Sweet-briar, the local flowers bloom in this wonderful limited edition work. A signature feature of Kristjana’s collages is to fill the canvas with colour, and Gull Sandur/Svartir Steinar is no exception!
Available in two sizes, you can purchase this Kristjana S Williams hand signed paintings of Dorset here