On Friday evening we went to the opening of two exciting exhibitions at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury.
The County of Elms in the Main Exhibition Gallery showcases work by the artist Julian Perry.
Visitors can view an evocative and elegiac collection of some 30 pictures featuring the ill-fated trees, which stand as a stark reminder as what can happen if we fail to look after our environment. On the Gainsborough’s House website Julian explains:-
“Superficially it can seem that the countryside has changed little since Constable’s time. However, habitat loss, species decline and climate change are having a profound and ongoing impact on the landscape.”
Before the devastating effects of Dutch elm disease, Suffolk had one of the highest number of Elm trees in the country, and was known affectionately as the ‘County of Elms’.
“As a child I witnessed the catastrophic death of twenty million English elm trees. For several years the huge dead trees stood as towering witness to what can happen if things go very wrong. For me, trees are a visual signifier of what can be good or bad about our relationship with the natural world.”
The other exhibition, in the Upper Bow Room, Constable at Gainsborough's House, is perhaps less immediately visually stunning, but is of great interest and also of some significance to the future direction of Gainsborough’s House. Born in East Bergholt, John Constable was a great admirer of Thomas Gainsborough. Finding inspiration in his landscape drawings and paintings, he is reported to have told a friend ‘I fancy I see Gainsborough in every hedge and hollow tree’.
Recently the museum has been offered, on long loan, a most interesting collection of artworks, painting materials and family memorabilia which have descended directly through Constable's heirs. These are now on show and offer intriguing insights into the artist’s life and work.
Both exhibitions run at Gainsbororough’s House until 11th June 2017.
Why not become a Friend and enjoy unlimited entry to these shows, the main collection, and other exhibitions later in the year? For further information CLICK HERE.