Catalogue - Paradise Found: New Visions of the Blackdown Hills

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PARA D I SE

FOU ND

NEW VISIONS OF THE BLACKDOWN HILLS

We would like to dedicate this with thanks to our generous contributors for helping realise this exhibition

Patrons

Exmoor Charitable Trust

Mrs Susan J. May

Patrick Baty

Tim Craven

Hamilton Hallows Design Development

Paradise Found New Visions of the Blackdown Hills

Conceived and arranged by Tim Craven, and co-curated by Sandra Higgins and Fiona McIntyre. Historic displays loaned by the Bevan family.

18 March - 3 June 2023

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm

This exhibition is accompanied by a wide range of events and workshops.

To book a slot visit www.thelmahulbert.com/whats-on/workshops

. EXMOOR CHARITABLE TRUST

Paradise Found

New Visions of the Blackdown Hills

A contemporary interpretation by 36 painters, printmakers and photographers walking in the footsteps of the Camden Town Group

Foreword

This exhibition is a remarkable achievement. Not only have 36 new artworks been created, relationships have been forged across the Blackdown Hills connecting nature conservationists, local artist groups, landowners, art historians, international curators and artists, young people and our local communities.

Thelma Hulbert Gallery, once home to artist Thelma Hulbert, is delighted to be shining a spotlight on the Camden Town Group’s activity in the area and the art historical importance of the landscapes surrounding the gallery. Thelma Hulbert’s first professional exhibition was with The London Group in 1938 (the group which succeeded the Camden Town Group). On display alongside this exhibition are key works from our collection. There are a multitude of stories and connections underpinning Paradise Found which reveal the enduring relationship of the artist to landscape, one which cuts through time and space.

We hope audiences will enjoy our interconnected programme of events and workshops taking place at THG and across East Devon. Thank you so much to the artists and curators for their time and commitment. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Blackdown Hills AONB, Wild Escape and Art Fund and Arts Council England.

2 FOREWORD Ruth Gooding 4 PARADISE FOUND Tim Craven Patrick Baty 5 CURATORS’ INTRODUCTION Sandra Higgins Fiona McIntyre 7 A CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATION BY 36 PAINTERS, PRINTMAKERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS WALKING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE CAMDEN TOWN GROUP 8 Clayhidon Church 10 The Edge of the Wood 12 A Devon Cottage 14 The White Barn 16 Harts Farm 18 The Plantation 20 The Hay Harvest 22 Applehayes 24 Clayhidon 26 Landscape near Applehayes 28 Luppitt Post Office 30 Dumpdon Hill 32 Acknowledgements Contents

Paradise Found

For a moment, the Blackdown Hills were the focus for a few avant-garde painters of the Camden Town Group. Their bold Post-Impressionist paintings, dating from 1911 until 1925, marry the intimacy of the English ancient landscape with the progressive French artistic approach of Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh. Expressive, impastoed and sometimes quasicubist brushwork in high-keyed colour is fused with a native sensibility and genius loci.

This exhibition revisits twelve of the same sites which the Camden Towners chose to paint, through a diverse range of contemporary artists’ eyes, and some of the historic works are exhibited alongside the new, together with reproductions of the others. The contemporary artists include past and present members of The London Group which the Camden Town Group changed its name to in 1913 when it expanded. The environment appears to have changed little over the last one hundred years, partly due to its inaccessibility for modern development – or has it? From the graphic, surreal, abstracted, expressionist and the hyper-real to the conceptual and post-modern, these Blackdown subjects survey recent artistic developments in the British landscape tradition as well as considering changes in the ecological, architectural, social and agricultural characteristics of the region. This is a then and now exhibition.The project is enriched through partnerships with the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Bevan family.

Robert Bevan first came to the Blackdown Hills in 1912 as a guest of Harold Harrison, a landowner and amateur artist, at his home at Applehayes, Clayhidon.  In the following year he was joined by his wife, Stanisława, and also by Spencer Gore and Charles Ginner. Although Bevan was unable to stay at Applehayes after 1915, due to wartime conditions, he clearly felt a strong attachment to the area, and returned for extended periods for the rest of his life. From 1916 to 1919 he rented Lytchetts, a cottage belonging to Hart’s Farm, only two miles away on the other side of the Culm Valley. It was a very different existence and without the companionship of Applehayes. Going down in early May and often staying until the middle of November he worked alone. His wife would join him for about six weeks during the school holidays, and sometimes both children would share this spartan existence for two or three weeks at a time.

In the summer of 1920 Bevan moved further south and stayed at Gould’s Farm, Luppitt, with the Loveridge family on a self-catering basis. Luppitt seems to have inspired him and he had a productive summer. The summer of 1921 was spent in Poland, but he returned to the Applehayes area, in 1922, to see his friend Harrison who was ailing. In 1923, Bevan purchased Marlpits, an isolated cottage, 10 minutes’ walk from Luppitt village.  He was to produce much work here in the short time before his death in July 1925.

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Patrick Baty, Great-grandson of Robert Bevan

Curators’ Introduction

It has been a very enriching and exciting experience for me to co-curate this exhibition especially since I was able to work with the distinguished group of artists that I asked to participate in the show, because of their diversity in technique and practice. I was able to watch their unique works develop from their first visit to the assigned sites, some of which I was able to visit with them, to their finished interpretations of them. I believe this might have been just how The Camden Town Group of artists approached and enjoyed their opportunity to engage with the landscape of the Blackdown Hills when they created their works so many years ago. I hope this exhibition will add to the legacy of this area of outstanding natural beauty for years to come as well as highlight the individualistic responses artists have when they encounter the natural environment. The juxtaposition of the original artworks with the contemporary works should be fascinating for viewers to observe. After all, this famous idiom rings true…

‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, 1878.

As a fellow painter-printmaker I was delighted to invite artists who enjoy the substance of materials, colour and composition expressed with individual character. Perhaps not dissimilar to my great-grandfather Malcolm Drummond, the Camden Town Group painter known for his intense colour and strong sense of semi-abstract design, and once described by the art critic of the Pall Mall Gazette c.1920, as having ‘the empty glare of their gaudy tints’, but he was on the cusp of Moderism in a rapidly changing society. My 12 group of artists didn’t disappoint and have produced their own highly original and vibrant interpretations of the Blackdown Hills. But some of us found it to be less ‘Paradise Found’ and more of a reality check on modern farming methods at odds with a romanticised past when horses and ploughs tilled the fields. The Camden Towners were never one to romanticise, preferring the honest gaze, so we shared an experience not dissimilar to what may have brought the Camden Town Group here in 1916, as a respite from city life and whispers of the 1st World War. For us, it was a welcome pause from our fast-paced, digitised world to a place of tranquility and beauty far from the constant rumblings of a new and escalating, modern war in the heart of Europe.

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A CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATION BY 36 PAINTERS

PRINTMAKERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

Alan Rankle

Robert Brooks

John Ball

Dan MacCarthy

Judith Jones

David Ferry

Richard Gilbert

Ferha Farooqui

Day Bowman

Marguerite Horner

Mark Dunford

Will Vaughan

Blaze Cyan

Frank Creber

Maxine Foster

Fiona McIntyre

Michelle Dovey

Benedict Brain

Stella Carr

Claire Cansick

Luke M. Walker

Tim Craven

David Walsh

Abi Kremer

THE CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

Robert Bevan

Spencer Gore

Charles Ginner

Stanislawa de Karlowska

Wendy Rhodes

Paul Finn

Brian Usher

Michael Porter

Paul Newman

Belinda Crozier

Philippa Beale

Kate Measham

Narbi Price

Ange Mullen-Bryan

Alex Egan

Ruth Piper

THE LONDON GROUP

“Clayhidon Church is located in a small churchyard in the Blackdown Hills, Somerset. Its architecture is very different from typical churches, particularly its tower. In my painting, I sought to create a haven of serenity and tranquillity, isolated from the outside world. The shapes and colours, warm and cold, combine harmoniously. On the far left of the composition is a tree, creating a beautiful balance. Unlike Robert Bevan, who painted Clayhidon Church from a distant farmhouse, my painting is from a very close distance, just a few meters away. The views from here are particularly outstanding, there is a sense of peace and well-being. My aim in painting this church is to show its structure with the energy of movement in the brushstrokes.”

Alan Rankle is an artist and curator whose work explores historical, social and environmental issues informed by his interest in the evolution of landscape art. Retrospective surveys of his work have been presented at Gallery Oldham in 2006 and Fondazione Stelline, Milan in 2010. Recent projects include curating the exhibition Axis: London Milano for Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan with Claudia De Grandi and a prize winning immersive installation Riverside Suites at the Lowry Hotel, Manchester in collaboration with the designer Veronica Givone and AFK Architects. His work was featured in the 2017 Southampton City Art Gallery exhibition and book, Capture The Castle showing landscape artists from Turner to the present day. Alan Rankle is represented by Flora Fairbairn & Co.

“The Post-Impressionist paintings of Robert Bevan, Charles Ginner and Spencer Gore while quintessentially English in character also seem to exhibit an illusive Magic Realist quality which sets them apart from being simply topographical studies. In my painting created in response to their works I’ve tried to explore this aspect further.”

8 ROBERT BEVAN - Clayhidon Church
Robert Brooks Clayhidon Church, 2023 Oil on canvas 33 x 33 cm ROBERT BROOKS ALAN RANKLE Alan Rankle Pastoral Collateral Study (Blackdown Hills), 2023 Oil on canvas 100 x 100 cm

JOHN BALL

Based in Romford (London, U.K) and working primarily in the South East of the United Kingdom, contemporary artist John Ball creates unsettling images of a bleak suburban landscape. John is probably best known for his appearance on the Sky Arts ‘Landscape Artist Of The Year’ television show where he was fortunate enough to place as finalist.

“Incredibly cinematic, foreboding vacant landscapes’ comparable to the work of Edward Hopper and David Lynch.” Kate Bryan, Head of Collections for Soho House

John has previously exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery with the BP Portrait Awards in 2007 with his painting Commuter. This was also published in the 500 Portraits hardback in 2011. In 2018, his first solo show Beware The Void debuted in Escondido, California and has subsequently exhibited at the Wells Art Contemporary, the ING Discerning Eye and has work in the National Academy permanent collection.

“Partly Inspired by kitsch 1970s horror movies from the likes of Hammer and Amicus, my interpretation of St Andrews at Clayhidon is an homage to the golden age of British Horror. My intention was to transform this beautiful and idyllic location and to compose a scene not out of place in ‘The Village of the Damned’ or ‘An American Werewolf in London.”

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John Ball Clayhidon, 2023 Oil on 18 mm MDF 30 x 40 cm CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Robert Bevan Clayhidon Church, 1920 Oil on canvas

In 2020, Belinda Crozier was elected as a member of the Contemporary British Portrait Painters (CBPP). She has a BA Hons from Bath Spa University as well as an MFA with distinction from Bath Spa University. Her landscape and portrait paintings have been exhibited in numerous shows from 2011-2022, including the annual show at the Mall Galleries London. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Trinity Bouys Drawing Prize. Her works are included in private and corporate collections including Landmark Trust, D&D Group and The Earl of Radnor, Wiltshire.

“I spent considerable time researching my given map coordinates in the the different seasons as I like to get to know my subject. The area was overgrown with brambles and the trees unrecognisable. What was obvious to me about the Blackdown Hills was the nostalgic beauty of the area and its unique light. However it took a combination of my mother dying and the golden light of a warm winter’s day to present me with what I was looking for. I used binoculars to find a motif that resonated with me, produced many drawings which I then worked from in my studio (with the very strong presence of my mother by my side) to develop this painting.”

Living and working on the Dorset and Somerset border, Paul works almost exclusively in graphite and is interested in detail, texture and tone, inspired by elements of the ancient landscape and stories of Wessex. His work is created by research into the nature and history of places that interest him; geology, ecology and sometimes interaction with human activity. Walking is an important part of the working process,understanding the character and distinctive atmosphere of a certain area, as Paul Nash referred to the ‘genius loci.’ Much of Paul’s work comes from places that have been explored and returned to repeatedly, with an ingrained personal significance, with the work mostly response to being affected by memories or experience over time in those places.

Paul is keen to make links between the places that he finds and the stories that fashioned them. His influences are maps and writers, geologists and legends, songs and poems. Trees form an important part of his interest, fusing and transforming the elements of different places. In particular, Paul is drawn to their shapes and individual textures, their place in regional folklore as well as their gift to allow us to collectively connect and think about our relationship with nature.

PAUL NEWMAN Paul Newman Edge of the Woods, Applehayes (Looking Back), 2023 Graphite on Bristol Board 18 x 24 cm BELINDA CROZIER
10 SPENCER GORE - The Edge of the Wood
Belinda Crozier Autumn’s Ebbing Light, 2022 Oil on canvas 82 x 102 cm

Born in Derbyshire in 1948, Michael attended art school at the age of 15, eventually finishing his art education at Chelsea School of Art in 1972. Since the mid 80’s he has worked exclusively from the landscape and sees himself as making as well as painting nature.

SPENCER GORE - The Edge of the Wood 11
CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Spencer Gore The Edge of the Wood, 1911 Oil on canvas Michael Porter Edge of the Wood, Applehayes, 2023 Oil and acrylic and paper on canvas 120 x 110 cm MICHAEL PORTER

JUDITH JONES

”I am primarily a fine art photographer, and I have exhibited widely in group and solo shows internationally since completing my MA (distinction) in photography in 2009. I was elected a RWA Academician in 2021 and I am a member of The London Group. I have won various awards, including but not exclusively The Aesthetica Art Prize and The Howden award at The Wells Art Contemporary and The South West Regional Prize at The ING Discerning Eye. My work is held in private and public collections in the U.K, New York, Pisa, Toronto and with Bridgeman Images.”

Dan MacCarthy Nettle and Thatched Cottage (after Robert Bevan), 2022 Watercolour on gloss paper 25 x 30 cm

DAN MacCARTHY

Daniel MacCarthy studied Contemporary History at the University of Sussex 2005-8 and art at the Royal Drawing School in 2011. He completed the Turps Studio Programme in 2019 and currently lives in Wales where he was the recipient of the Sidney Nolan Trust resident artist award in 2019. Recent solo shows include, Ship of Fools at Meakin + Parsons, Oxford and Things are in the Saddle, Galera San Soda, Milan 09/202. He is represented by Canopy Collections.

“In approaching this project I hope to bring my perspective, informed by the world we inhabit today, to bear on the location deemed worthy of rendering in paint by Robert Bevan in 1920. Metaphor and allegory have always been part of the language in my paintings. It’s a semiotic language in which nettles and brambles, car headlights in country lanes, bucolic settings cast in eerie electric lighting, come to symbolise; hope and anxiety, entropy, modernity and the climate crisis alongside timeless rural scenes.”

Judith Jones Appletrees, A Devon Cottage, 2023 C-Type Photograph mounted as a Durospec
12 ROBERT BEVAN - A Devon Cottage
52 x 52cms

David Ferry

Blackdown 1-4, 2023

The Personal Fitness Trainer

The Village Clairvoyant

The Village Gossip

The Village Voyeur

Original photomontage on paper 210 x 297 cm

DAVID FERRY

“I chanced upon a ‘old’ book in a charity shop. The book was called ‘Country Life Picture Book of the West Country’ published in1952. My contribution to the ‘Paradise Found’ project is related to Robert Bevan’s painting, ‘Devon Cottage’ (1910), some 40 years before the book. What intrigued me was the actual passage of time, my own time line, and the differences and similarities therein. Two people gossiping outside a cottage in the photograph in the book are familiar to social interactions in 1910, and likewise 2023. I have montaged a secondary visual interaction on these ‘original’ scenes, ‘The Personal Fitness Trainer’, ‘The Village Clairvoyant’, ‘The Village Gossip’, ‘The Village Voyeur’. They now all share a multidimensional reunion in the ‘village”

David Ferry RE, studied at the Blackpool, Camberwell and Slade Schools of Art. Associate Professor Long Island University USA, Emeritus Professor of Printmaking, Cardiff, & Hon Dr. of Arts, Solent UK.

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CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Robert Bevan A Devon Cottage, 1920 Oil on canvas Clockwise: West Country photograph, Leonard & Marjorie Gayton, Cir. 1950.

Ferha Farooqui

The White Barn, Hart’s Farm (after Robert Bevan), 2023 Acrylic on wood panel 62 x 78 cm

FERHA FAROOQUI

Ferha Farooqui’s work comprises compositions based on observations of everyday life, and ‘portraits’ of lost places and human stories observed on the streets of east London. She studied Fine Art at Winchester School of Art (1979-82) and is co-founder of The Urban Contemporaries Group. Her work can be seen in various public collections including the Guildhall Art Gallery, the V&A Print Collection and London Borough of Newham Heritage Archives.

“My work normally captures the drama of the city environment and most particularly, London. So, I was delighted to be invited to produce a work inspired by Robert Bevan’s painting of The White Barn at Hart’s Farm in the tranquillity of the Blackdown Hills. It was wonderful to visit the site, which we were told is still owned by the family who possessed it, in the days of Bevan’s visits. The building has been revitalised frequently, and the once thatched roof is now corrugated metal. But it is still recognisable from Bevan’s painting. My work is both a homage to Bevan and a newfound enchantment with this part of England.”

RICHARD GILBERT

“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 focus on projects developing bodies of work based on locations or ideas such as time, the seasons or context such as responding to an artist or writer. I have had exhibitions in Hereford, the Midlands and London and contributed towards group shows in the UK and Europe. I have work in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.

My practice is based around painting, watercolour and drawing with an earlier period exploring sculpture, it has been supplemented by teaching, running workshops based on drawing trees and community engagement such as the Big Draw ‘A Journey through Herefordshire’ at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery in October 2019. I am interested in landscape as the subject to engage with a range of ideas, concepts and human emotions. The hills, trees, fields and buildings of the Marches offer endless possibility. From the pebble on the path to the distant horizon, it is all here to wring something essential from. One day I want to paint a landscape for the mind to wander through and that the eye might get lost in.”

14 ROBERT BEVAN - The White Barn
Richard Gilbert The White Barn, Hart’s Farm, Study i, 2023 Pencil on paper 75 x 55 cm

DAY BOWMAN

In the past few years Day Bowman’s work has gained first prize in the Anima Mundi International Painting Prize and was exhibited at the Venice Biennnale 2019; this was quickly followed by being awarded first prize in the Bath Open Art Prize 2019 and first prize for the inaugural Wales Contemporary 2019. Most recently, Day was awarded the Winsor and Newton Prize 2020 by the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and her work shortlisted for the 2020 Holly Bush Painting Prize and the 2022 Jackson Painting Prize. Day’s work is held in numerous private and public collections worldwide including Hilton Hotel Group, British Dental Association, Dorset County Hospital, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Govt. Art Collection, the Priseman Seabrook Collection and the Yantai Art Museum Collection China.

‘I have been thinking on how we read the landscape: the rural rather than the urban. There is a sentimentality promulgated about this bucolic landscape but two hundred years ago the land did not resemble the present-day patchwork quilt of shape and colour. With the passing of the Enclosure Acts forbidding the peasant population the right to use the land, the topography and history of this area of the West Country appears to me to be more a Paradise Lost than one ‘found’.

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Day Bowman Marking Out the Boundaries 3, 2022 Oil, charcoal and conte on canvas 140 x 150 cm CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Robert Bevan The White Barn,1916 Oil, charcoal and conte on canvas

Marguerite graduated with an MA in Fine Art from City & Guilds in 2004. In 2012, She had her first London Solo Exhibition at The Pitzhanger Manor Gallery and has exhibited at the 54th and 56th Venice Biennales. In 2017 Horner won the NOA17 MS Amlin Prize and in 2018 won the ‘British Women Artist Award’. Her work has also been acquired by a number of museums in England, USA and China.

“We used an Ordinance Survey map to find the location that I had been allocated. It was a Sunday and no one was in. Harts farm was set on a hill with lovely views across a valley. It was a working dairy farm with a utilitarian set up. As I walked around recording anything that struck my eye as interesting, I noticed the complete silence and smell of the place, it reminded me of something far back in my childhood, a place of calm and security. I am now starting to use the images I gathered, hopefully some of my feelings will be conveyed in the work I produce.”

Born in Dorset and studied at Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art from 1982-1987. Elected a member of The London Group in 2001 and exhibits regularly in Cornwall, London, and other UK and international venues. Lives and works in Cornwall.

16 ROBERT BEVAN - Harts Farm
MARK DUNFORD Mark Dunford Bevan’s View, 2023 Oil on panel 40 x 46 cm MARGUERITE HORNER Marguerite Horner He Taps At My Window, 2022 Watercolour on paper 30 x 40 cm

Will Vaughan

Hart’s Farm, Clayhidon, Devon, 2022

Drypoint with Charcoal

20 x 25 cm

Edition of 5, (This is no 1)

WILL VAUGHAN

Will Vaughan studied Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. He subsequently took a degree in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. He has worked as a curator and lecturer. He is currently Professor Emeritus of History of Art at Birkbeck College London. He has published widely on the history of art, particularly in the area of Romanticism. His monograph on Samuel Palmer (Yale University Press) appeared in 2015. His most recent work is a study on Shadows in Nature, Life and Art, (2019, Wooden Press). While active as an art historian, Will has continued painting and drawing. In the last ten years he has specialized in producing prints, particularly etchings. He has exhibited regularly at The Royal West of England Academy (Bristol), Bath Society of Artists, The New English Art Club (London) and the Royal Society of British Artists (London). He is currently Chair of the Bruton Art Society.

CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

Robert Bevan Harts Farm,1916

Lithograph

ROBERT BEVAN - Harts Farm 17

Blaze Cyan

Bevan’s View (BDH), 2023

Wood Engraving

Block size 10 x 12.5 cm

Frank Creber

The Plantation, 2023

Acrylic on Canvas 90 x 90 cm

FRANK CREBER

“Living in London, many of my paintings are about the Physical and Social environment of the city. However, on arrival in the countryside, my experience, like other city dwellers, is to stare in awe at the sense of space and light that is often an overriding first impression. I base my paintings on many drawings in an attempt to connect the small details with the wider panorama, I bring images together that are structured by the memory of places and emotional encounters.”

BLAZE CYAN

Blaze was born in Wiltshire and now lives and works in London. She graduated from the City & Guilds of London Art School in 2014 with an M.A. in Fine Art after a previous career in the fashion industry. Blaze is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (R.E.) and an elected member of the Society of Wood Engravers. Working within the mediums of drawing, etching, woodcut and wood engraving, her primary subject area is landscape, and her work focuses on the beauty and complexity of trees in nature. Blaze has shown work with many of the leading art and printmaking societies and has been a member of the Arborealists’ since 2015. She is represented by Eames Fine Art Gallery in London.

18 ROBERT BEVAN - The Plantation

Maxine Foster is an award winning artist, she graduated in 2018 with a Masters in MultiDisciplinary Printmaking from the University of the West of England. She has contributed to a number of prestigious exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the RWA (Bristol) and The Victoria Gallery (Bath).

“I visited the Luppitt area three times in search of Robert Bevan’s The Plantation. The first visit was on a swelteringly hot day with blue skies in July. With the help of Google Maps I was directed to a wooded area behind Marlpit, it was incredibly hilly, muddy and access was impossible. I recorded some lovely images of trees and a gate, a present day version of Bevan’s painting. I wasn’t convinced that I was in the right place…I hadn’t yet found paradise! Three months later and I had the opportunity of viewing the area from above, a birds-eye view of rolling hills, patchwork fields and trees with autumnal turnings. Excitement and anticipation in the air and there was a sense of being closer to the location of Bevan’s inspiration.”

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CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Robert Bevan The Plantation, 1916 Oil on canvas Maxine Foster The Plantation ST 1740 0710 Diptych Intaglio, À la Poupée 1/1 (one off print) 83 x 109 cm (approx) MAXINE FOSTER

“I was very intrigued to follow in Robert Bevan’s footsteps. I spent a rainy September day under the protection of this old oak tree drawing Hart’s Farm from a distance. Bevan’s deadpan ‘arcadian’ view of a horse-drawn plough in a hayfield was at odds with my experience of the remaining farmhouse and surrounding land now subsumed by modern utilitarian cattle sheds. I developed a copper etching/drypoint on two plates representing this ‘collision’ of perception across time and space.”

Fiona McIntyre is a well travelled painter-printmaker exploring often wild landscape and creation myths which she expresses with a combination of drawing and intuitive painterly colourist methodology. She has an MA in European Fine Art from Winchester School of Art (Barcelona), she studied Drawing and Painting at Edinburgh College of Art, then Printmaking at Grafikskolan Forum in Sweden mentored by ‘Imaginist’ Bertil Lundberg. She is founding member of The Arborealists and elected Royal Society Painter-Printmakers (ARE). Her work is in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford and Bohuslän Konsthall in Sweden. Fiona has participated in several landmark exhibitions inluding Southampton City Art Gallery, The Romantic Thread In British Art: Turner to Le Brun (2016), and a residency at the Sidney Nolan Trust (2022), leading to Dreaming The Land, a solo show.

MICHELLE DOVEY

Born in England, and raised in New Zealand, Michelle Dovey finished her first degree in New Zealand, before travelling to Europe to see the paintings she had studied first hand. She completed her Masters at the School of Visual Arts in New York where she encountered the works of the Abstract Expressionists. These made a deep impression. Returning to England she lived in London for many years. She has shown with Gimpel Fils since 2006. Her work was included in the group show Under The Greenwood Picturing British Trees at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery (2013). Following this show the exhibiting artists formed themselves into the Arborealists group, with many exhibitions ensuing including the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol (2014). In 2010 she moved to Pembrokeshire.

“My recurring thought as I contemplated the field harvested 100 years ago by Robert Bevan’s, plough man, was ...what would Robert Bevan make of the grass I was standing on? There was still much beauty to be found in the Blackdown Hills, but unfortunately, Harts Farm is now dominated by large industrial farming sheds, a single line of cows marching slowly up to the cowshed and the green grass known to support no insects. It was a sobering time.”

20 ROBERT BEVAN - The Hay Harvest
Fiona McIntyre Oak Witnessing Time (after Robert Bevan’s ‘The Hay Harvest’), 2022 Copper etching and drypoint on Hahnemuhle 29.5 x 36 cm Edition of 25 FIONA McINTYRE Michelle Dovey Looking for Paradise, (Harts Farm), 2023 Indian ink on paper 42 x 60 cm

Benedict Brain’s photographic practice explores the idea of the land as a sentient entity. His ongoing project, A Sentient Land, looks at aspects of the landscape, using photography to describe it as a living, dynamic and visceral entity suggestive of deep-rooted connections with myth and ancient folklore. Benedict Brain is a UK-based photographer, award-winning journalist and author. He balances his practice with writing about the art of photography. He writes a monthly column called The Art of Seeing and his first book, You Will Be Able to Take Great Photos By the End of this Book will be published by Octopus Publishing in March 2023.

CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Robert Bevan
ROBERT BEVAN - The Hay Harvest 21
The Hay Harvest, 1916 Oil on canvas BENEDICT BRAIN Benedict Brain Untitled, Harts Barn, Blackdown Hills 2021 Giclée Print 420 x 594 mm

Stella Carr

Landscape Applehayes

Soul of the Great Elm, 2023

Ink and body colour on arches

72 x 57cm

STELLA CARR

Born in Liverpool in 1962, Stella Carr studied at Liverpool John Moores 1979-80 and Kingston School of Art 1980-83 Whilst practicing as an artist in London she trained part time in Horticulture at Balmoral Cottage Benenden and Collingwood Ingram’s garden (1984-88) Awarded a Kew Gardens scholarship she spent 3 months painting endangered ecosystems in Brazil in 1989. Over the past 35 years, Stella Carr’s work has assumed many forms, from paintings, public art and installations to printmaking and writing. She is always exploring the relationship between nature and human affinity with the landscape. Work is held in many private collections internationally, as well as in public collections. These include Jardins de Metis, Quebec, Kew Gardens, Arts Council England, Warwickshire County Council, Leeds City Council, British Waterways, The Miners Union, The Valeni Estate, Romania, and The National Trust.

“I paint the numinous as feeling within a landscape, responding in layers to the way the visible and invisible are linked, and co-create a distinctive place. My language of repeated forms and patterns as symbolic communication aims to explore the idea of worlds within worlds. Looking at the same Appleshayes Hills that Charles Ginner painted I was struck by the absence of the Elm trees that populated the hedges in his view in 1913. Landscapes evolve. Now I wait, optimistically, for end of industrial agricultural practices for capitalistic gain, and the return to a more connected relationship to land: Thus the golden egg of change hangs in the balance.”

CLAIRE CANSICK

Landscape Applehayes

Soul of the Great Elm, 2023

Ink and body colour on arches

72 x 57cm

CLAIRE CANSICK

Claire’s work is associated with nature and colour; she paints with expressive paint marks and stylised detail. Her paintings are a diary of nature’s dynamism, her imprint on the landscape and its impression by recording emotive responses using an exploration of recessive colours. Claire lives and works in Norfolk.

22 CHARLES GINNER - Applehayes

Diptych exploring boundaries between the experience of walking and painting. A contemporary rendering of the view painted by Ginner in 1913. A Datascape using data collected on a 12 mile walk to get there; elevation, steps and speed. The landscape is activated in the presence of the artist being there. Luke Walker’s work evolves primarily from his walking practice, in an attempt to explore our relationship with landscape and the environment. He often uses data collected on walks to construct paintings. He is co-founder of the Wilderness Art Collective and a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG).

LUKE M. WALKER LUKE M WALKER Landscape-Datascape 001: ‘Abbey to Applehayes’, 2023 Acrylic and oil on canvas Diptych 76.5 x 62 x 6 cms (each) CAMDEN TOWN GROUP
CHARLES GINNER - Applehayes 23
Charles Ginner Applehayes,1913 Oil on canvas

Tim Craven trained in Fine Art and the Conservation of Easel Paintings. He joined the staff at Southampton City Art Gallery in 1980, working in conservation, collection management and as Curator for 37 years. Having always continued to paint, he decided in 2008 to concentrate on his own art practice and founded The Arborealists in 2013 - a group of some 50 professional artists from all over the UK, of diverse art practice who are united by the subject of the tree. To date The Arborealists have staged over 30 exhibitions in the UK and abroad. He joined The London Group in 2015 and regularly curates exhibitions and lectures on art and history.

David Walsh is a landscape artist working with traditional oil paints and also with hand-made pastels of pure pigment. He works en plein air, working outside in all seasons ‘trying to really see and respond to the landscapes and the weather… with intellect and soul’. His studio is in Wiltshire although he travels extensively with his paints and pastels around the country and into Europe to find places that move him to draw and paint. David annually conducts painting and drawing classes in Italy.

“I start every painting researching the perfect spot then make a drawing in my book to work out the composition. Then the real work happens always reacting to what is before me. The painting on my easel is a quest to capture the light and ensuing colours and spirit of the place on my canvas. It is simultaneously a struggle and a pleasure. But always deeply absorbing and the glory of the landscape never ceases to be the motive. Imagine my joy and interest to have a spot chosen for me at Clayhidon in the heart of the Blackdown Hills where I have followed in the footsteps of Charles Ginner.”

24 CHARLES GINNER - Clayhidon
TIM CRAVEN Tim Craven Clayhidon, 2022 Watercolour 32 x 42.8 cm David Walsh, Valley and Hills, south east from Clayhidon, Blackdown Hills, 2022 Oil on linen 40 x 50 cms DAVID WALSH

Abi Kremer

Clayhidon Personages, 2022

Watercolour on paper 45 x 26 cm

ABI KREMER

Abi Kremer is inspired by the mood and rhythm of landscape and dance. She has had a long career focussing on site specific art, with work in public and private collections. Studying the Blackdown Hills has provided a fruitful opportunity for reflection on our relationship with nature. In common with Camden Town art she works with prismatic colour. Experimentation with transparent washes and layering leads to spontaneous compositions; the translation into paint of organic phenomena addresses the subconscious, resulting in fantastical landscapes. Influences include the surrealist Eileen Agar and colourists such as Winifred Nicholson and Bridget Riley.

CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

Charles Ginner

Clayhidon, 1913

Oil on canvas

© Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter

CHARLES GINNER - Clayhidon 25

Moments of Reflection, 2023

Graphite on Fabriano Artistico 56 x 76 cm

WENDY RHODES

Wendy Rhodes is a Gloucestershire based artist, educator and researcher. She holds an MA in Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking and she completed a Practice-led PhD at UWE (2019) that questioned the reciprocal nature of drawing and etching through case studies. Her practice follows her walks through rural Cotswold landscapes where she lives, capturing moments rich with haptic and temporal potential, exposed by countryside management. Wendy describes finding the location in the Blackdown Hills:

“It was quite a moment to find a place near Applehayes that felt right, and to reflect on why Gore stopped there and painted that scene. As I was drawing, it felt like I was seeing the place through two pairs of eyes and with two sets of sensibilites. It became even more interesting to reflect on what I could bring to the interpretation of place with a modern view.”

Wendy creates her copper plate etchings at the Gloucestershire Printmaking Cooperative and she has a home studio where she makes her graphite drawings. She is an RWA Artist Network member and she writes articles for Printmaking Today.

Obscured

,

, 2022 Oil on canvas 122 x 82 cm

“I studied Fine Art at Ravensbourne College of Art and then postgraduate painting at The Slade. After graduating I was appointed 10th Brinkley Fellow at Norwich University of the Arts. I am a member of the Arborealists group and I am a gallery Artist at the Tregony Gallery in Cornwall and the Rowley Gallery in London.”

26 SPENCER GORE - Landscape near Applehayes
PAUL FINN Paul Finn Landscape Applehayes Wendy Rhodes

CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

30 x 36 cm

Photographer Brian Usher has worked for many years photographing the live music scene and he has worked extensively as a freelance photographer. His work has been published and exhibited in the UK and worldwide, and he has work in several private collections. Throughout his career Brian has pursued a number of fine art photography projects. He was nominated for the Photographers Gallery/City Bank Prize for his work in Cuba, funded by the Arts Council of England. More recently he has been using photography as the beginning of a process of layering and duo toning to create atmospheric images. Manipulating form and light to reimagine and to evoke mood and emotion. For this project he uses elements of the original painting and layers them with photography from the location to evoke a feeling of time passing and historical reference. The sense of a location revisited. Echoes of the past, seen in the present.

Brian Usher Applehayes Revisited 01 Photography and mixed media BRIAN USHER Spencer Gore
SPENCER GORE - Landscape near Applehayes 27
Landscape near Applehayes, 1910 Oil on canvas

KATE MEASHAM

Kate has a BA (hons) Visual Art Through Drawing from Winchester School of Art,1993-98. She is co-owner of Hampshire Art studio, and has been teaching and running courses for 25 years. Kate is a figurative artist working in oils and multiple drawing materials and her subjects include landscape, still life and the figure. She frequently returns to paintings by the Great Masters for inspiration revisiting their approach to composition and colour palette. The passage of time is a key interest.

“How can a drawing or painting contain something other than a passing moment? I have omitted scaffolding, telephone wires, or electricity. The main changes from the 1920s will be the cropping and growing of trees - a change at a different pace to ours. Two pictures of the same view, four months apart, has agricultural changes, and weather changes, both running on a different time line. Heat haze Over Luppitt on the hottest day of 2022, and damp, mizzley winter haze, illustrate a timeless beauty, whatever the weather or season. The view is not much altered since Stanisława de Karłowska’s time.”

PHILIPPA BEALE

Philippa attended Winchester School of Art from 1961, then Goldsmiths College, University of London 1965 to 1969, and the University of Reading 1969 and 1970. She had her first solo exhibition at Camden Arts Centre in 1972. Philippa taught at Hornsey College of Art and was the artistin-residence at the City Art Gallery in Southampton 1983. She returned to study at Goldsmith’s from 1983 to 1985, and then the University of the Arts London from 2000 to 2004.

Philippa started painting trees as part of her new polemic concerning the environment, resulting in an invitation to exhibit in 2013 in Under the Greenwood, Picturing the British Tree, at St Barbe Museum in the New Forest. In 2014 she was a founder member of the Arborealists Movement. Philippa was Director of studies at the London College of Communication, Central Saint Martins, and finally as a Ph.D. supervisor at City, University of London. She joined The London Group of artists in 1977 and served as its President from 1994 to 1998. National Collections include Tate Britain,  Southampton City Art Gallery, Museum of Fine Art, Krakov, Poland, Maire de Brux, Aquitaine, France. Eglise de Vaux, Valence en Poitou, France.

Kate Measham Heat Haze Over Luppitt, Blackdown Hills, 2022 Oil on panel 60 x 60 cm
28 STANISLAWA DE KARLOWSKA - Luppitt Post Office
Philippa Beale Ghosts with Warty Birch, 2022 Oil on canvas 60 x 42 cm

NARBI PRICE

Narbi Price is a painter, working in Newcastle upon Tyne. His seemingly everyday scenes hold additional hidden historical, or cultural significance. He was the Journal Culture Awards Visual Artist of the Year 2018, winner of the Contemporary British Painting Prize 2017, and prizewinner in the John Moores Painting Prize 2012.

“I live at the opposite end of the country and the 16 hours travel time far outweighed the couple of hours I spent in in Luppitt and then being in Honiton. The small part of the hills that I saw had a plain, utilitarian beauty, the landscape’s form very much following its function as farmland. Going to Luppitt on foot from Honiton involved the odd bit of bush diving as vehicles passed on the one car width paths. The village was largely unchanged, tarmac being the main visible one and the site of the painting I’d been tasked with responding to was very clear.

There was no one there. No one. It was rather eerie. I looked back at the spot where Stanislawa de Karlowska stood to make the painting. She wasn’t there either.”

Narbi Price Untitled Gable Painting (Luppitt), 2022 Acrylic on Canvas, 70 x 50cm
STANISLAWA DE KARLOWSKA - Luppitt Post Office 29
CAMDEN TOWN GROUP Stanislawa de Karlowska Luppitt Post Office, 1916 Oil on canvas

Ange Mullen-Bryan Hayes (with reference to the Old English word for fence or enclosure), 2022 Oil on linen 51 x 25 cm

ANGE MULLEN-BRYAN

Born1978, Ange is a British Painter and studied Fine Art Painting at Winchester School of Art. She continues to develop her practice from her studio in Gloucestershire and exhibits across the UK. In 2022 Ange had two paintings selected for the Royal Academy summer exhibition, London. In 2008 she was longlisted for the prestigious Liverpool John Moores painting prize and in 2015 shortlisted for the National Open Art Prize. In 2020 Ange had a solo show at Blue Shop cottage contemporary art gallery in Camberwell, London. Her work has been showcased by well-known interior designers such as Studio Ashby among others.

“In the Karlowska Painting that I was given to respond to she paints a view of Dumpdon hill from the vicinity of Woodhayes Farm. I chose to head into her view and to the iron age fort at its top, to stand among the beeches and pines and look back down into the valley. As I worked together images of the area into my painting ‘Hayes’ I was thinking about the meaning of that word as the old English for fence or enclosure.”

Oil and acrylic on birch panel 40 x 60 cm

ALEX EGAN

Alex Egan studied at Bristol UWE and has a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art, she has since exhibited extensively throughout the country. The subject matter in her paintings are predominantly directly drawn from nature, more recently added elements of her imagination making an appearance. She is commissioned to portray ancient, veteran, notable and much loved trees and is currently the tree artist in residence at Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk. She became a member of The Arborealists in 2016 and has exhibited with them in many group exhibitions.

Alex Egan, 2022/3 Dumpdon Hill
30 STANISLAWA DE KARLOWSKA - Dumpdon Hill

RUTH PIPER

Ruth has an MA in Painting from Wimbledon School of Art. She lives and works in Bristol. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, including, London, Germany & the USA. The painting developed in response to the Black Down Hills Project is an imaginary view of Dumpdon Hill in twilight. Two field trips were made to the area around Dumpdon Hill, the second with curator Sandra Higgins. Towards the end of the visit we located an area that we felt was the place where the artist Stanislawa de Karlowska may have made her original painting of the hill. The house was gone but a new building was in progress. A large mound of aggregate dominated the site.

Ruth’s paintings are composite landscapes, that have a nocturnal and sometimes unsettling appearance. Different elements are layered against a dark background from which plant forms emerge. The details are either invented or taken from photographic references observed separately in different places. They have a gentle slightly romantic melancholic atmosphere with hints of amorphous shapes hidden in the foliage. These paintings are situated in the transitional mythological space between knowing and the unconscious, where dreams and reality merge.

CAMDEN TOWN GROUP

Stanislawa de Karlowska

Dumpdon Hill, 1920

Oil on canvas

Ruth Piper Dumpdon Hill in Twilight, 2022 Acrylic on Canvas 90 x 90 x 2.5 cm
STANISLAWA DE KARLOWSKA - Dumpdon Hill 31

Acknowledgements

The idea for this project developed during the Pandemic, a time of renewed connection and passion for our natural landscapes.

Thank you to the artists for their interest, dedication and hard work in being part of this magnificent exhibition. Thank you to the curators Tim Craven and Sandra Higgins for their invaluable expertise, and to Patrick Baty for securing some of the wonderful historic works by his great-grandfather Robert Bevan. A thank you to partners and generous sponsors for their enduring energy and commitment.

A special thank you to Fiona McIntyre for her tireless work in publishing the catalogue, an important record of artistic activity in the Blackdown Hills past and present.

32

First published in 2023 by Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Elmfield House, Dowell Street, Honiton, Devon, EX14 1LX

www.thelmahulbert.com

©Text: Ruth Gooding, Tim Craven, Fiona McIntyre, Sandra Higgins, Patrick Baty and the artists. © Images: Patrick Baty, Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter.

Front cover detail: The Village Gossip, by David Ferry, 2023. Back cover detail: Appletrees, A Devon Cottage by Judith Jones, 2023. Page 6 detail: The Hay Harvest, Robert Bevan, 1916.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. All rights reserved.

Except for the purposes of review, no part of this catalogue may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.

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