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DITCH Paintings of The Fens by Fred Ingrams December 6th 2016 - 7th January 2017

in association with

DITCH The landscape of The Fens only exists because of the millions of gallons of water that are drained into the miles of ditches that surround every field. These ditches are the beginning of the huge man-made effort to take water from below sea level via drains and pump houses, into rivers and then finally out to sea. Ditches are also the only places in The Fens that are not ploughed, drilled, harvested and most importantly sprayed with fertilisers and herbicides. They are nature's refuge from this onslaught. Often called the hedgerows of The Fens, like hedges in the rest of our landscape, ditches form strips of seasonal life that are left to create their own habitats. Like hedges, ditches are cut and cleared every now and then to keep them working but everything quickly grows back and they fill again with reeds, flowers, warblers, reed buntings and dragonflies. As a result of all this nature ditches are subject to huge amounts of legislation and scrutiny. They fall under the watch of the many drainage boards such as the Middle Level Commissioners and the Association of Drainage Authorities as well as being scrutinised by Natural England, The RSPB, The Environment Agency, various wildlife trusts, farming conservation groups and all the local councils. The future of ditches in The Fens is for others to decide upon and maybe when all the soil has been blown and eroded away from the land in between them the battle between the “re-wilders" and the property developers can really commence. To me these precious margins are just dividing lines that run at ninety degrees to each other and border the huge fields of crops. The fields they frame are slabs of ever-changing colour. You can look down them or across them. Depending on your viewpoint ditches form either horizontal lines that divide the landscape or converging lines that meet at the vanishing point. Looking down a ditch creates one kind of painting, looking across a ditch another. The result is two types of landscape. You can stand in a fenland field and see both at the same time, all you have to do is turn ninety degrees. Ditches create the landscape that I love and thereby create my paintings. Fred Ingrams, 2016

Photograph by Christopher Drake

Fred Ingrams was born in 1964. He studied at Camberwell and St. Martins Schools of Art. For ten years he painted above the Coach & Horses pub in Soho, whilst exhibiting in various central London galleries. He has worked as a graphic designer and art director on many magazines including: Sunday Times, The Field, Tatler, Vogue and House & Garden. In 1998 he moved to Norfolk where he paints and draws both nudes and landscapes from life. For the last seven years he has been painting landscapes in The Fens. DITCH is the third one-man show of his fenland landscape paintings.

Fodder Beans, Barroway Drove, Sept 2016 Acrylic on board, 123cm x 123cm

Ditch on a grey day (II). May 2016 Acrylic on board, 123cm x 123cm

Crooked Ditch, Second Drove, Queen Adelaide Acrylic on board, 123cm x 123cm

Winter evening in the Black Fens Acrylic on board, 123cm x 123cms

Ten Mile Bank. May 2016 Acrylic on board. 123cm x 123cm

Ditch on Mildenhall Fen, April 2016 Acrylic on board. 123 x 123cm

Leeks on Methwold Fen Acrylic on board, 123 x 123cm

Foggy Ditch (II) Acrylic on board. 123cm x 123cm

Pumpkins and Leeks, Friday Bridge. Oct 2016 Acrylic on board. 123cm x 123cm

Pymoor, Cambridgeshire Fens. July 2016 Acrylic on board. 91cm x 91cm

Black Field Acrylic on board. 123cm x 123cm


Reeds on Methwold Severals Acrylic on board. 61cm x 61cm

Pumphouse on the River Lark Acrylic on board. 91cm x 91cm

Early morning on Sedge Fen Road, Nov 2016 Acrylic on board. 123cm x 123cm

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Paintings of the Fens by Fred Ingrams


Paintings of the Fens by Fred Ingrams