Andrew Lambirth in The Spectator, June 2014
Galleries II and I are devoted to prints, some of which you need field glasses to see, such as ‘Thorn’ by Joel Wyllie, skied and impossible to read properly from ground level. This dense hang is another RA tradition, though it had somewhat abated in recent years. But with 1,262 exhibits you have to pile ’em high to get ’em in. Some exhibitors suffer more than others, and the viewing public gets a pain in the neck. The range of work is still reassuringly wide, from Flora McLachlan’s charming etching of a rural ride complete with arching trees, deer and honeysuckle, to a big vivid abstract woodcut by Gillian Ayres. In ‘Split Performance’, Allen Jones pushes lithography quite a bit further than most people, while Phillip King’s monotypes have a brushy vigour and Anne Desmet’s vignettes intrigue the mind. In Gallery I, Stephen Chambers contributes a beautifully patterned screenprint called ‘The Manners of the Americans’, there are wriggly clusters of lines from Tim Harrisson, and Glen Baxter injects a welcome shaft of anarchic cowboy wit with his ‘Clandestine Meetings of the Jane Austen Society Were Held Every Other Thursday’.
Patricia Baker-Cassidy. Press release for Heartwood, Art Jericho, Oxford, May-June 2013
Flora McLachlan's etchings have an unforgettable presence, infused with a haunting sense of poetry. She creates the sinewy curves and twists of the leafless trees, where the darkness opens and closes, and draws us in. She shows us ancient woodland under windy skies, where the flying moon leaves pools of light and spaces crossed with shadow.
McLachlan's work is carefully structured, where echoes of form build distinctive composition, enriched by her use of patterns from the natural world. Her muted and delicate palette builds the atmosphere of otherness, veiling our known world with unfamiliarity.