Paradise Found: New Visions of the Blackdown Hills
18 March 2023 to 3 June 2023
A contemporary interpretation by 36 painters, printmakers and photographers walking in the footsteps of the Camden Town Group
Conceived and arranged by Tim Craven, and co-curated by Sandra Higgins and Fiona McIntyre.
Between 1911 and 1925 the Blackdown Hills were a source of inspiration for members of the avant-garde painters of the Camden Town Group. They captured the ancient landscape and its particularity with the progressive French artistic approach of Cezanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh.
36 contemporary artists including past and present members of The London Group (previously the Camden Town Group) have recaptured the same sites that were painted by Spencer Gore, Charles Ginner and Robert Bevan of the Camden Town Group. The contemporary works are exhibited alongside drawings and paintings (together with reproductions of paintings and photographs) created by Gore, Ginner and Bevan.
The environment has changed little over the last 100 years, partly due to its inaccessibility for modern development. From the surreal, abstracted, expressionist and the hyper-real to the conceptual and post-modern, the Blackdown subjects are a vehicle to survey and consider recent developments of drawing and painting in the British landscape tradition.
The exhibition provides a fascinating insight into the ecological, social, industrial and historic issues particular to the Blackdown Hills over the same 100 year period, examining the values and characteristics which so attracted the Camden Town artists.
18 March, exhibition opening including talk about Stanislawa de Karlowska with Patrick Baty.
15 April, 10-1 ‘Pigments into Paint’ demo with Fiona McIntyre, 3pm Curator’s Talk.
12 May, 3-4 ‘A Brush with Nature’ curator’s talk with Sandra Higgins
13 May, 10.30-3.30 ‘Walk & Talk’ with artist Luke M. Walker.
3 June, 3-4 ‘History of the Camden Town Group’ Closing Lecture with Tim Craven.
This project has been made possible through partnerships with the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Bevan family.
Images: The Village Gossip, David Ferry, 2023 + The Hay Harvest by Robert Bevan (private collection)
Listen: Lives and Letters of the Camden Town Group