Necton, Mona Hill - Susan Laughlin

Photograph of The Return of Persephone by Susan Laughlin, a painting inspired by Mona Hill, Necton.

The Return of Persephone. (© S. Laughlin.)

Oil on canvas

18 x 12 ins

I grew up on the outskirts of Ipswich, the surrounding woods, meadows, riverbanks and heathland were my playground.  Through my teenage years, I watched in dismay as, one by one, these places disappeared under tonnes of concrete, replaced by industrial estates, superstore complexes, housing estates and road systems. They exist now, only in my memory and the memories of the other children that played there.

Susan can be contacted on 01760 336 390. 

Moving from urban to rural surroundings, one feels that it is again, possible to breathe. Since moving to the heart of Breckland in Norfolk, with my children, James and Rebecca, I have found other places that give me pleasure, although it seems that nowhere is entirely safe from the planners’ pen! It is from these places that I draw inspiration for my work whilst also drawing upon folklore, mythology and ancient history to suggest something more than the purely physical. Working by constructing each painting with many layers of glazing, so that it slowly evolves, echoes the passage of time; as the life and history of each site are recorded within it, resulting in its current ambience and appearance, so each layer of glazing is an integral part of the final image. 

Photograph of Lord of the Dance by Susan Laughlin, a painting inspired by Mona Hill, Necton.

Lord of the Dance. (© S. Laughlin.)

Oil on canvas

24 x 24 ins

As a population, we are becoming more environmentally aware, increasingly accepting our responsibility to protect the natural world, viewing it, not only as something beautiful but also precious. However, we still view it as something outside ourselves, something separate. Through my work, I hope to not only suggest that it is possible to access memories within the landscape that give vital clues to the ancestral heritage of our land and people, but to also awaken a sense of connectedness that industrialisation, technology and materialism have encouraged us to forget. 

Photograph of As Lugh Descends by Susan Laughlin, a painting inspired by Mona Hill, Necton.

As Lugh Descends. (© S. Laughlin.)

Oil on canvas

24 x 24 ins

I also write poetry with each of the images as I am painting them; I find that it helps bring to a conscious level, what I wish to communicate.


Amidst the clamour of mock war,

I remain in a clearing,

My banks gently caressed

by the still waters around me.

I offer a sanctuary,

silent and calm

where I'll tell you my memories

from the beginning of Time.  

Photograph of Mona Hill by Susan Laughlin, a painting inspired by Mona Hill, Necton.

Mona Hill. (© S. Laughlin.)

Oil on canvas

6 x 9 foot

Shadows of Ancient Memories

Bowing graceful head to Demeter's will,

grove of Mona burns, fires aglow.

Slow retreat into Hades' darkened halls,

reveals taciturn, jewelled sylphs,

unadorned, radiant with inner light.

Yet watchful still, their eternal knowing,

flows in transient tapestry,

Spectral dreams sewn into silken threads

of Wyrds' infinite, labyrinthine Web.

Necton, Mona Hill, NHER 4603 

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