Art exhibition at The Harley Gallery celebrates British coast, country and city

The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire will take visitors on a journey of British coastlines, countryside and city with an exhibition that explores the year of the staycation.
At a time when travel destinations are constantly in the headlines, Coast, Country, City promises a change of scenery and a variety of destinations seen through work created by British landscape artists.

The exhibition is the second exhibition in The Jerwood Collection’s year-long residency at the contemporary art gallery, which is based in the heart of the historic Welbeck estate, near Worksop. Coast, Country, City runs between 20th August and 7th November and includes artists such as David Hockney and Edward Bawden, Catherine Yass and Paul Nash, among many more.

More than 50 works from the Jerwood Collection have been selected by independent curator, James Rawlin.

He said: “When I was first approached to consider curating an exhibition for The Harley Gallery of works from the Jerwood Collection, we were already deep into 2020, a year which for so many reasons had turned out very different to how we all might have imagined. The periods of lockdown, local restrictions and a very changed awareness of our proximity to others suggested to me that maybe these new priorities would influence how we saw art.”

“These landscape paintings predate the strange time of 2020. I’m interested in whether our experiences of the year changes how we view these landscapes. Not only this, how might they differ from the artist’s original interpretation?”

His selection invites the viewer to review their perceptions of coast, country and city. He questions whether the seaside and the coast, for example, are the same thing. The wild and windswept coasts of Cornwall, Scotland or East Anglia are often to be found cheek by jowl with the jaunty, cheeky world of the seaside but they are very different, he says.

“The way artists have used this distinction is easy to see,” James said. “Yet when COVID restrictions were lifted last summer, the images of crowds on the sunny beaches and seafronts were screamed out by the tabloid newspapers as the height of irresponsibility when, in a more usual year, they might just be showing Britain at play.”

Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery, said: “The enforced solitude of lockdown has been very difficult for so many of us and this exhibition of artists’ views of England makes me realise quite how much we have missed. Many of these paintings were done a long time ago and it’s interesting to look at them now in 2021. What do we all expect of our beaches, coasts and city pubs? Are our memories of things long gone or places that still exist?”

The Harley Gallery is on the historic estate of Welbeck on the edge of Sherwood Forest, near Worksop, in Nottinghamshire. Admission to the exhibition is free and there’s also free parking. The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire will take visitors on a journey of British coastlines, countryside and city with an exhibition that explores the year of the staycation.
At a time when travel destinations are constantly in the headlines, Coast, Country, City promises a change of scenery and a variety of destinations seen through work created by British landscape artists.

The exhibition is the second exhibition in The Jerwood Collection’s year-long residency at the contemporary art gallery, which is based in the heart of the historic Welbeck estate, near Worksop. Coast, Country, City runs between 20th August and 7th November and includes artists such as David Hockney and Edward Bawden, Catherine Yass and Paul Nash, among many more.

More than 50 works from the Jerwood Collection have been selected by independent curator, James Rawlin.

He said: “When I was first approached to consider curating an exhibition for The Harley Gallery of works from the Jerwood Collection, we were already deep into 2020, a year which for so many reasons had turned out very different to how we all might have imagined. The periods of lockdown, local restrictions and a very changed awareness of our proximity to others suggested to me that maybe these new priorities would influence how we saw art.”

“These landscape paintings predate the strange time of 2020. I’m interested in whether our experiences of the year changes how we view these landscapes. Not only this, how might they differ from the artist’s original interpretation?”

His selection invites the viewer to review their perceptions of coast, country and city. He questions whether the seaside and the coast, for example, are the same thing. The wild and windswept coasts of Cornwall, Scotland or East Anglia are often to be found cheek by jowl with the jaunty, cheeky world of the seaside but they are very different, he says.

“The way artists have used this distinction is easy to see,” James said. “Yet when COVID restrictions were lifted last summer, the images of crowds on the sunny beaches and seafronts were screamed out by the tabloid newspapers as the height of irresponsibility when, in a more usual year, they might just be showing Britain at play.”

Lisa Gee, Director of The Harley Gallery, said: “The enforced solitude of lockdown has been very difficult for so many of us and this exhibition of artists’ views of England makes me realise quite how much we have missed. Many of these paintings were done a long time ago and it’s interesting to look at them now in 2021. What do we all expect of our beaches, coasts and city pubs? Are our memories of things long gone or places that still exist?”

The Harley Gallery is on the historic estate of Welbeck on the edge of Sherwood Forest, near Worksop, in Nottinghamshire. Admission to the exhibition is free and there’s also free parking. Website: www.harleygallery.co.uk

Detail, Edward Bawden RA (1903-1989), Brighton Pier, 1958 (signed 1961) © The Estate of Edward Bawden

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