The Thelma Hulbert Gallery opens its doors again after five months on Saturday, May 29, with an exhibition that explores different artists’ approaches to the landscape.
The whole of Elmfield House has now been turned over to the gallery, which is the former home of the artist Thelma Hulbert. There is the Exhibitions Gallery (formerly Thelma’s studio), a new shop and refreshment area, a Project Space and dedicated Learning Room, with extended visiting hours to enable visitors to enjoy the new facilities throughout most of the week.
The Thelma Hulbert Gallery’s opening exhibition, Earthscapes, marks on the resurgence of interest in landscape-based work arising out of current concerns for the environment, global warming and the erosion of the coastline around the UK. In an exhibition that includes painting, photography, land art, environmental and site specific work, six artists of international standing have revised traditional ideas of landscape and re-presented it for a 21st century audience. Their diverse interpretations make for a lively and sometimes startling show which fascinates, provokes and feeds the imagination.
Exhibiting artists include sculptors Mariele Neudeker, Tania Kovats and Richard Harris, photographer Stephen Vaughan, painter Jeremy Gardiner and Land Artist Kate Raggett.
Mariele Neudeker’s work challenges the Romantic idea of landscape. She is probably best known in the UK for her atmospherically condensed forest landscapes in glass display cases which were exhibited at Tate, St Ives and which will be seen here in photographic form.
Tania Kovats is interested in landscape where the geology is clearly evident allowing you to read the story of the formation or erosion of the land. She will be showing work which relates to Tree which was part of her winning commission for the Natural History Museum, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Darwin.
Richard Harris, who makes large-scale environmental sculpture, will provide visitors with an opportunity to view his models for the Weymouth Relief Road commission. His subtle interventions in the landscape, using a combination of natural local and industrial materials, reveal his sensitivity to location.
Stephen Vaughan’s stunning large-scale photographs of remote places, topically, include a series taken in volcanic regions of Iceland. They explore connections between geology, archaeology and history.
In contrast Kate Raggett’s photographs of site-specific earthwork drawings, made from found materials ranging from apples to stones, respond directly to the land of which they are a part.
Finally Jeremy Gardiner’s complex, multi layered paintings explore the effects of geological time on the landscape of the Jurassic Coast.
On Monday, June 7 there will be a special evening opening of the Gallery with talks by exhibiting artists, which is free to all visitors.
Other exhibitions in the Project Space at the gallery:
May 29 – June 19
Selling exhibition of postcard-sized work by local artists and school children to raise funds for Masterpieces (the THG youth group) and Tiverton Youth Centre (in partnership with Blundell’s School).
June 23 – July 17
Honiton Community College: Inner Landscapes, Year 10 GCSE photography exhibition.
(images: from the top down, Jeremy Gardiner’s Morning East Cliff; Kate Raggett’s Cumbrian)
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