Slater’s SussexAuthor: James Trollope
Illustrator: Eric Slater
A slender paperback volume featuring the evocative, delicate woodcuts of the little-known Sussex artist Eric Slater.
Eric Slater was an artist who produced more than 30 colour woodcuts between 1926 and the outbreak of the Second World War. Many depict scenes near his home in Seaford, East Sussex, where he lived for most of his adult life. Eric studied at The Hastings School of Art, and was probably taught how to make woodcuts by a neighbour who had been to Japan to study oriental woodcut techniques used by European printmakers from the 1890s. European woodcuts such as Slater’s were less formal than Japanese woodcuts, and were marketed as affordable art for ordinary homes. They were also popular in the United States where Eric Slater won a gold medal for his 1930 picture of Seaford Head.
From his studio at his house in Seaford, Slater established an international reputation exhibiting in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria and South Africa, but the death of his mother in 1938, the outbreak of war and changing fashions ended his career.
Eric Slater died in obscurity in 1963. A solicitor’s notice in the Sussex Gazette made no mention of his art. He is buried in a shared grave at Seaford.