Explore the 'Out of Britain' exhibition with Visual Arts Director Andrea Rose, as she talks about some of the featuring artworks and why we are exhibiting selected pieces from the British Council Collection in Kuwait for the first time, in collaboration with the National Museum in Riyadh.
Out of Britain explores the theme of the British landscape, from the urban to the rural and the UK’s encircling coastline. The exhibition features over 50 artworks and 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 begins 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 - andSpring 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.
Visit our Visual Arts website for more details about the exhibition.