This engraving was first engraved for the wonderful Viva-Lewes Magazine. Their September 2014 edition looked at Lewes Race course and the 50th anniversary of it's closure. This is what they said about the artwork:
Keith Pettit has created a couple of terrific Viva covers in the past - last September’s was a fantastic wood-cut of Keere Street. When he offered to design a cover during Artwave, we happily agreed, but asked if he felt like trying something a bit different. “I was really excited by the challenge, which surprised me in some ways. I can be set in my ways.” The starting point for this striking wood engraving was the theme of Lewes Racecourse. “I began with the composition – the strong stripe of people angled across the corner, the sweep of the racecourse.” He added the Town Windmill on Spital Road. “Although I’m not claiming it’s an accurate portrait of the geography!”.
The style and composition is influenced by the modernist lino cut printer Sybil Andrews, while the strong white and fine detailing on the black owes much to the mid 20 cent. wood engraver, Claire Leighton. Keith’s drawn on Eric Ravilious and Eric Gill in terms of influence for the typeface and lettering. He’s given the racing punters sharp suits and trilbies, “which also give a hint of noir, which fits with the dark history of the Razor Gangs at the racecourse”. We love how lively it is, and how it captures a sense of atmosphere of what was a hugely popular public event, and a crucial part of Lewes history.
The engraving is printed on hand made Zerkell paper in an edition of 50 and the original lemonwood block measures 150mm x 105mm. As with all my prints I send through the post- it comes mounted only. Each print forom the edition is individually hand printed by hand signed and numbered.