Award-winning landscape artist, Gordon Rushmer, goes back to his childhood roots for his latest exhibition, which will be held at the Museum from 2-14 August.
The Weald has always held a special place in the creative output of West Sussex-based artist Gordon Rushmer – one of the UK’s leading traditional land- and seascape watercolourists.
His summer exhibition at the Museum features work from the 1,000 square miles of countryside that lies between the North and South Downs, and which stretches from the eastern boundaries of Hampshire across central Surrey, Sussex and Kent.
A boyhood passion for cycling meant that, from an early age, Gordon was travelling the lanes and byways of The Weald, developing a lifelong love and appreciation of the outdoors.
This led to a 40-year career as an artist whose work is represented in a number of private and public collections around the world, including the Palace of Westminster, Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the National Library of Wales. He has exhibited at Tate Britain and the Imperial War Museum.
“These days my Downland work heads off the well-trodden paths and explores the sunken lanes or the churches tucked away beneath the slopes,” said Gordon. “The aim is to make the viewer wonder what is over the next rise or around the next bend – to create the anticipation and expectation of new vistas.”
“On a practical note, the UK winter and bad weather give me my best material. Trudging along on bitingly cold days, hoping that something will occur – that’s when the chalk hills are at their most productive and I’m at my most receptive.”
During his more recent travels around The Weald, Gordon was accompanied by Chichester-based writer, David Holmes, and together they have created an illustrated book, Window on the Weald, about an area that has attracted the attention of poets, writers and artists for centuries.
With an introduction by Richard Pailthorpe, Gateway Project Director of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, it is a snapshot of the traditions, cultural heritage and the characters the pair discovered in The Weald.
Gordon and David Holmes will steward the exhibition on many days, including both weekends, and there is the opportunity to buy works and copies of Window on the Weald.
Gordon Rushmer’s Summer Exhibition runs from Tuesday 2 – Sunday 14 August at the Museum and will be available to view between 11am and 4pm daily. Standard Museum admission charges apply and include admission to the exhibition.
Please note that the exhibition is being held in a first floor location, with access via a flight of stairs, in Crawley Hall.