This very personal project is a celebration of the diversity of Northumberland's gardens. I have been visiting, researching and drawing these gardens over the past couple of years now and meeting the gardeners who have either created or manage them. Clearly there are some very obvious large public gardens that bring thousands of visitors to Northumberland every year, but there are also some lesser known or very private spaces that equally deserve an inclusion in "on northern soil". The resulting work will take the form of printmaking and drawing primarily, and the final exhibition date and venue is still to be confirmed.
I have always been drawn to Howick Hall Gardens in particular, its heady mix of formality and wildness, its closeness to the sea, and its testimony to its present day plant hunter, owner Lord Howick. I have completed a number of monotypes about this garden in recent years - there will no doubt be more.
Chesters Walled Garden is another absolute favorite and although this garden is now sadly closed to the public, many artists have worked within its walls and I too have many strong visual memories of its profusion of plants and wildlife and continue to produce work based upon it. A very recent lithograph of one of its autumn borders (above) features inula seedheads, grasses and box hedging in golden autumn dress and the characteristic view of the greenhouse just seen through the foliage.
The work continues, in an attempt to capture the essence of these floriferous or green spaces and I will feature further updates as the work progresses. Alnwick Garden is a very different garden to the two already mentioned, often sculptural and green and I am currently working on several images that are in the planning stage, so more on these later.