A PICTURE OF BRITAIN
A Picture of Britain, which launches in June, has been developed from the start by BBC producers and Tate Britain curators and comprises a Tate Britain exhibition and major BBC programming, the centrepiece of which is a landmark six-part BBC One series presented by David Dimbleby. It explores how the British landscape has inspired artists for three hundred years and how these artists have come to define how we view the landscape.
A Picture of Britain looks at six regions of Britain through the eyes of major artists, from Thomas Gainsborough, JMW Turner and John Constable to Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, as well as less widely celebrated but influential figures. Tate Britain's exhibition dedicates a section to each region and comprises around 250 works including oil paintings and watercolours as well as drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics, sculpture and other material. For the BBC One series David Dimbleby travels the length and breadth of the country to explore the history of Britain's relationship with the landscape in the six regions. The artistic heritage of Britain is brought to life through not only the visual arts but also the words of novelists and poets, and the music of leading composers.
David Dimbleby brings to the project his extensive knowledge of British culture and identity combined with a lifelong passion for art. "I have always loved painting and scenery so working with the BBC and Tate Britain on a project that brings the two together is enthralling. The connection between the British landscape seen by all of us with the naked eye and the same landscape seen through the eyes of artists, musicians and writers is fascinating. In A Picture of Britain I will be exploring these links and looking at their impact on our national character, seeking out the countryside we admire and the reasons we cherish it."
Stephen Deuchar, Director of Tate Britain said: "Tate Britain has worked alongside the BBC on many programmes over the years, but we are truly excited to work on A Picture of Britain in this pioneering way. The collaboration will present a comprehensive view of the landscape of Britain and the extraordinary work produced in response to it by our many great artists. I hope that visitors and viewers will enjoy seeing such a breadth of dramatic scenery depicted by an equally inspiring range of artists."
Clay based products produced from non-metallic material and fired at high temperature. The term covers all objects made of fired clay, including earthenware, porcelain, stoneware and terra cotta.
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.
A medium in which ground pigments are mixed to produce a paste or liquid that can be applied to a surface by a brush or other tool; the most common oil used by artists is linseed, this can be thinned with turpentine spirit to produce a thinner and more fluid paint. The oil dries with a hard film, and the brightness of the colour is protected. Oil paints are usually opaque and traditionally used on canvas.
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.
A three-dimensional work of art. Such works may be carved, modelled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, relief, and made in a huge variety of media. Contemporary practice also includes live elements, as in Gilbert & George 'Living Sculpture' as well as broadcast work, radio or sound sculpture.
UK, London, Tate Britain
- 15 June 2005 − 04 September 2005