Davies was born in Sedgefield, County Durham (1949) and studied at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham. His early works focused on the rural landscape, but he later turned his attention to the Northern industrial cities. This series of works, was started in the 1980s, takes its title A Green and Pleasant Land from a line in William Blake’s poem Jerusalem. Durham Ox presents a panorama of Sheffield being regenerated; the last monument to a lost community is the local pub. Stockport Viaductshows the reflective waters of the River Mersey flanked by warehouses; the civic architecture of the future is seen through the soaring arches of the Victorian viaduct. As Davies said, ‘I’ve always thought it important to make beautiful pictures that draw people in, so I decided to use a romantic style – or, rather, to take romantic pictures in unromantic places’.
My Yard, British Council 2009
- Accession Number P6064
- Dimensions 50 X 60 CM
- Media SILVER BROMIDE PRINT
Landscape is one of the principle genres of Western art. In early paintings the landscape was a backdrop for the composition, but in the late 17th Century the appreciation of nature for its own sake began with the French and Dutch painters (from whom the term derived). Their treatment of the landscape differed: the French tried to evoke the classical landscape of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly stylised and artificial manner; the Dutch tried to paint the surrounding fields, woods and plains in a more realistic way. As a genre, landscape grew increasing popular, and by the 19th Century had moved away from a classical rendition to a more realistic view of the natural world. Two of the greatest British landscape artists of that time were John Constable and JMW Turner, whose works can be seen in the Tate collection (www.tate.org.uk). There can be no doubt that the evolution of landscape painting played a decisive role in the development of Modernism, culminating in the work of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists . Since then its demise has often been predicted and with the rise of abstraction, landscape painting was thought to have degenerated into an amateur pursuit. However, landscape persisted in some form into high abstraction, and has been a recurrent a theme in most of the significant tendencies of the 20th Century. Now manifest in many media, landscape no longer addresses solely the depiction of topography, but encompasses issues of social, environmental and political concern.
- Germany, Kolvenburg
- UK, London, Whitechapel Art Gallery
- UK, Newcastle, Laing Art Gallery
- Wales, Cardiff, National Museum Of Wales
- Sweden, Norrkoping, Arbets Museum
- Poland, Warsaw, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Arts
- UK, Penzance, The Exchange
- UK, Leeds, Leeds City Art Gallery
- UK, Carlisle, Tullie House
- Wales, Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth Arts Centre