‘Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.’ Song of Songs 2:12
I am thrilled to be exhibiting at the National Trust’s Leith Hill’s inaugural open call gallery exhibition every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday, 11am-5pm, from 3rd May to 30th June 2019.
Entitled ‘Awakening,’ the exhibition celebrates the arrival of spring at Leith Hill Place and the beautiful surroundings of Leith Hill, part of the Surrey area of outstanding natural beauty.
My original framed oil painting, ‘Bluebell Woods at Leith Hill,’ is available for sale, alongside limited edition prints. It is featured at the start of the exhibition. I feel extremely honoured that the National Trust have used my painting to promote the exhibition on their website.
‘Awakening’ exhibition on Leith Hill’s website, featuring my oil painting.
58 artists submitted entries, however only 31 were selected for the exhibition. The artists I am displaying my work alongside include printmakers, sculptors, painters, ceramicists and jewellery makers, resulting in a wide variety of art on view at the gallery. The majority of the work is for sale. The exhibition is being held in the drawing room upstairs, with glorious views overlooking the countryside.
As a member of the National Trust, I feel very honoured to be participating in their first open call exhibition. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring their properties and walks over the years, and have never tired of returning to favourite places. It’s also a delight to discover new ones.
For readers outside the UK who may not be familiar with the organisation, the National Trust was founded in 1895 to look after and conserve special places of historic and environmental interest and heritage throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Leith Hill Place was bequeathed to the National Trust by one of England’s greatest composers, Ralph Vaughan Williams, in 1945. Vaughan Williams grew up at Leith Hill Place from the age of two until he was twenty, when he left to study at Cambridge. His violin composition, The Lark Rise Ascending, has twice been voted as the nation’s favourite classical piece of music. He also favoured folk music, and folk singing evenings are regularly held at the house.
Leith Hill Place was home to Ralph Vaughan Williams’
Josiah Wedgwood III was the grandson of potter, Josiah Wedgwood, who founded the Wedgwood company in 1759, specialising in fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories. A
The 16th century palladian style house is only open on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday each week, as well as Bank Holiday Mondays. The house is closed to the public throughout the week, however there are special workshops for those interested in art, history, music and theatre.
In the month of June, there are sculpture workshops, folk singing evenings, willow weaving, life drawing classes, architectural talks, baking classes, stone carving and outdoor theatre, to name a few.
With its stunning setting overlooking the Surrey Hills, the gallery exhibition, alongside other events at Leith Hill Place, is set to be a fantastic spring/summer day out in the countryside. Unique to the house, there is a working kitchen, where fresh cakes and scones are baked on the premises, giving a warm welcome to travellers and walkers.
I would also recommend visiting the exhibition downstairs, ‘Minding the Women: reflecting Caroline Wedgwood,’ which has researched the life of Caroline Wedgwood, thought to have been the driving force behind planting the woodland garden on Leith Hill in the mid 1800s. My friend, contemporary printmaker/installation artist and founder of the award winning Ochre Print Studio, Julie Hoyle, is displaying her beautiful prints alongside Leith Hill Place’s current artist in residence, sculptor Philippa Hall, until 30th June. Julie was artist in residence in the summer of 2018.
Leith Hill Place and its exhibitions are free to visit for National Trust members, however admission charges do apply for non members.