Exhibition images

Out of Britain explores the theme of the British landscape, from the urban to the rural and the UK’s encircling coastline. Featuring over 50 artworks, the exhibition examines the ways in which artists have engaged with landscape and addressed timeless and fundamental questions about man's place in the world. Structured around an imagined journey the display will begin in the city and lead out into the countryside to follow the coastline before ultimately returning to an urban landscape. The works in the show illustrate individual artist’s attempts to find their place amongst an ever-changing environment where they are often driven to challenge traditional ways of interpreting and framing the landscape.

Pictures included in the selection range from Lowry's bustling, industrial Salford to the smoke-belching chimneys of the Black Country by Edward Wadsworth and the anonymous hinterland of industrial parks in the Midlands of David Rayson. The literary Britain of Bill Brandt’s photographs is contrasted with the London painted by Humphrey Ocean and David Hepher. Views of the shoreline in Scotland, as drawn by Eric Ravilious in wartime, are presented together with the Essex coast seen by John Nash; the rugged and rocky coast of Wales by Graham Sutherland and Beachy Head as presented in the star-shaped painting by Jeffrey Camp. Sculptures by Nicholas Pope and David Nash - literally hewn from the wood - and Spring Circle by Richard Long, a Turner prize winner, comprising slabs of Delabole slate from Cornwall, have also been added where the artists talk of a direct engagement with the earth. Amongst these sculptural objects a new installation by Conrad Shawcross is also presented, which mounts video projection onto the gunwales of a rowboat to trace a journey through the LeaValley. The inclusion of paintings by Peter Lanyon and John Nash look to the very essence of landscape in their more abstract depictions. 

Out of Britian was originally shown in Saudi Arabia in April 2012 and has since toured to Kuwait and Oman. 

Glossary (4)

  • Installation

    An artwork comprised of many and various elements of miscellaneous materials (see mixed media), light and sound, which is conceived for and occupies an entire space, gallery or site. The viewer can often enter or walk around the installation. Installations may only exist as long as they are installed, but can be re-created in different sites. Installation art emerged in the 1960s out of Environmental Art (works of art which are three-dimensional environments), but it was not until the 1970s that the term came into common use and not until the late 1980s that artists started to specialise in this kind of work, creating a genre of ‘Installation Art’. The term can also be applied to the arrangement of selected art works in an exhibition.

  • Landscape

    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.

  • Painting

    Work of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is a tightly stretched piece of canvas, paper or a wooden panel. Painting involves a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's intellectual concerns effecting the content of a work.

  • Video

    Images recorded on videotape or on optical disc to be viewed on television screens, or projected onto screens. The medium through which these images are recorded and displayed.

Past venues

  • Romania, Bucharest, National Museum Of Art
    • 03 October 2013 − 19 January 2014
  • Oman, Muscat, Bait Al Zubair Museum
    • 12 November 2012 − 19 December 2012
  • Kuwait, Kuwait City, Contemporary Art Platform
    • 17 September 2012 − 25 October 2012
  • Saudi Arabia, Al Kohbar, Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Science & Technology Center
    • 05 June 2012 − 30 June 2012
  • Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, Athr Gallery
    • 02 June 2012 − 23 June 2012
  • Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Riyadh National Museum
    • 23 April 2012 − 25 May 2012
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