Swindon’s remarkable art collection now has a reputation as one of the best of British 20th Century Art Collections outside of London and a new exhibition is now on display. The Lure of Water, features work from the Swindon Collection of Modern Art with artists such as John Piper, Alfred Wallis and John Nash and guest artist Emma Stibbon.
The Lure of Water has been on display since July and has already attracted more than 3,000 visitors to the exhibition, and people have visited from as far away as Canada and the USA.
We have had some great feedback with people saying it is fascinating, enjoyable, inspiring and that they could almost smell the sea.
The exhibition shows a range of approaches to the depiction of water. Claude Francis Barry adopts a neo-Impressionist style. Edward Wadsworth’s sharp realism delineates objects associated with the sea. Mary Fedden gives a colourful abstract interpretation of a bend in the river Thames at Durham Wharf.
Many of the artists contrast the play of light on water with the solid structures of ships, harbours and land masses. All demonstrate a fascination with the most fluid aspect of landscape, water.
Water in its many forms has a physical presence. It can be touched, tasted, seen and heard. It is also the stuff of imagination. It can be used as a screen onto which to project feelings associated with cool contemplative waters of a slowing moving river in northern France or tempestuous waves crashing on rocks at a reef off St Ives.
John Piper highlights the drama of a waterfall’s steep descent to the foot of a Welsh mountain. John Nash hints at the comfort of ships at rest in harbour. Guest artist Emma Stibbon touches on the relationship between ‘sheer mountains, deep gorges and vast glacial seas’
The exhibition is free to look around and on display at the Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, Bath Road, Swindon SN1 4BA
The Museum & Art Gallery is open Mon – Sat 10am – 5pm, admission is free.
Christopher Wood Still Life with Boats St Ives 1930