Paradise Found: New Visions of the Blackdown Hills

18 March – 3 June 2023

Exhibition exploring the Blackdown Hills through the artist’s lens past and present.

Curated by Fiona McIntyre, Sandra Higgins and Tim Craven.

I have painted two views at Applehayes, as seen from the house and towards it across the valley.

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.

Contemporary artists including past and present members of The London Group (previously the Camden Town Group), will recapture the same sites that were painted by Spencer GoreCharles Ginner and Robert Bevan of the Camden Town Group. The contemporary works will be exhibited alongside drawings and paintings (together with reproductions of paintings and photographs) made by Gore, Ginner and Bevan. These will include a great-granddaughter of Malcolm Drummond, founder member of the Camden Town and London Groups.

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 will be a vehicle to survey and consider recent developments of drawing and painting in the British landscape tradition.

The exhibition will provide 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.

This project has been made possible through partnerships with the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding National Beauty and the Bevan family.