Artwork for Richard Gilbert
The orchard at Breinton, spring to summer 150x100cm 2018-2020
December around Stonewall Hill 120x110cm 2021
August around Stonewall Hill 120x110cm 2020
The Sacred Oak at Whiteleaf 121x91.5cm 2020
On the Black Hill 91.5.122cm 2019
The clearing at Bodenham 112x142cm 2015 2020
Tywmpa, last of the snows 100x150cm 2019-2020
A Beech Tree, Tarn Howes 107x82cm 2015-20
I am fascinated with how landscape, including Herefordshire, has been represented by artists and writers. For this, I have, over the years, followed in the footsteps of Bruce Chatwin’s ‘On the Black Hill’ and the Hatton trail, the Breinton Springs Circular walk. Recently my focus has been on exploring an overlooked pocket of the Borders during the course of a calendar year, Stonewall Hill, which was depicted by the artist Mary Rennell in 1967-68 when she lived at The Rodd. My response to these actual landscapes evolve slowly over many months.
Landscape for me is based not just on the evolving contexts outlined above but on attempting to understand how a patch of land can be represented though colour and composition. Part of my project is the search for a specifically local palette of colour which varies through the seasons. Herefordshire has its own unique range of green indicative of a sense of place. I am drawn to green like no other colour, it offers as much variety as the world is wide. Each tint is not only an equation of form and mood but has qualities one can only describe as mystical. Greens are complex organic hues and places constantly re-invent green hues through the seasons due to nature’s relentless drive. Greens can have variable weight and density, they can reflect the climate, the soil, the weather or the colour of the sky. They can convey the whole arc of life from youth to old age. Some of my landscape work has set out in praise of, and hopefully is, a celebration of the colour green.
I am interested in how landscape has been depicted in the past as well as the present. My 'hero' artists are all landscape painters and almost all are great painters of trees. The depiction of trees in British art has always been central to a national debate about who we are. My artistic interests lie in Brueghel; the Flemish 'world landscapes'; Dutch 17th century 'landskips'; the German and English Romantics; Neo-romantics; Ravilious and the Nash brothers. These evolving contexts for depicting landscape join together in a fascinating dialogue about so much more than just landscape.
My practice is based around painting and drawing with an earlier period exploring sculpture. It has been supplemented by teaching, running workshops based on drawing trees and the Big Draw such as 'A Journey through Herefordshire' at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery in October 2019.
Following undergraduate study at Falmouth and Wimbledon Art Schools, I studied for an MA at Chelsea School of Art and an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have had solo exhibitions in Hereford, the Midlands and London and contributed towards group shows in the United Kingdom and Europe. I have work in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.
'Footsteps' - An exploration of Britain's literary landscape. The Chapel Gallery, Bromyard, October 2018
'Common Ground' - A journey into Herefordshire. Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, September 2019
'Round the Year from Stonewall Hill: A Journey in Time and Space'. Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, August 2021