The Lettering Arts Trust is bringing its touring exhibition The Nereids, about the sea nymphs of classical mythology, to the University of Winchester’s West Downs Gallery from Wednesday to April 23.

It features 27 images of the sea sprites, attendants of Poseidon, who befriended and protected sailors.

Among them are Doris, who represents the sea’s bounty, Doto, who gave safe passage to sailors, Glauke, of the ‘blue-grey’ waters, and Menippe, the ‘Nereid of strong horses’.

Each has been interpreted by a skilled lettering artist and presented as a stone or wood carving, calligraphy, letterpress or mixed media artwork. All are for sale, with prices from £250 to £2,500. 

The Lettering Arts Trust is a charity founded to foster, sustain and promote the craft of letter cutting.

Proceeds from the trust’s sales are invested in training schemes which provide apprenticeships and work opportunities for those seeking to learn or hone their skills in this ancient craft.

Exhibition curator and trustee Karoline Newman said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Winchester to bring the intricate work of contemporary lettering artists to new audiences.

“It demonstrates that the precious craft of hand lettering and hand carving is as relevant today as it always has been – and cannot be replaced or replicated by machines. It is really important that we conserve and sustain this important heritage craft for the future.”

The Nereids were the daughters of Nereus, the ‘honest old man of the sea’, who was married to Doris, the daughter of Oceanus.

They played an important role in Greek myth and were a popular subject for ancient authors and artists. One of the most famous is Thetis, mother to the hero Achilles, who is the focus of a talk by Dr Polly Stoker, who leads the BA (Hons) programme in classical studies at the university.

Polly’s free lecture, Thetis and Her Sisters: Nereids in Greek Myth and Thought, takes place in the West Downs Centre on March 6 at 6pm. To book visit