Tag Archives: Landscape

The sun went in, the fire went out

Jacquetta Hawkes and her archive continue to inspire artists and curators!  “The sun went in, the fire went out” is a new exhibition which uses Jacquetta’s  experience to present art made by three avant-garde female artists active during the 1960s and 1970s: Annabel Nicolson, Carlyle Reedy, and Marie Yates.

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“The sun went in, the fire went out”.  Detail from exhibition catalogue front cover: Jacquetta’s handwritten text which inspired the exhibition


The curators, Karen di Franco and Elisa Kay, also explore parallels with the work of modernist writer Mary Butts, who, like Jacquetta, was a well-known figure who became marginal – and is now being rediscovered.

What do these women have in common as artists?  The qualities characteristic of A Land, Jacquetta’s greatest and most distinctive work: “resistance to easy categorization, concern for process, and understanding of physical and cultural landscape”, to quote an enthusiastic review by Jonathan P. Watts for Frieze magazine.

The Sun went in, the fire went out: landscapes in film, performance and text” is on show at CHELSEA space, Chelsea College of Arts, from 27 January to 4 March 2016.



Back to A Land: on show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

We’re thrilled to announce that some of the most exciting, beautiful and historically fascinating objects in the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive will be on show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park from 8 September to 4 November 2012.  They appear as part of an exhibition, Back to A Land, curated by Dr Christine Finn, Jacquetta’s biographer.

La Cotte de St. Brelade (Jersey), entrance to the cave from the ravine (archive ref: HAW 18/3/45)

La Cotte de St. Brelade (Jersey), entrance to the cave from the ravine (archive ref: HAW 18/3/45)

The exhibition coincides with the Harper Collins reissue of Jacquetta’s tour de force, A Land, her synthesis of geology, poetry and travelogue.  Fêted by critics and the public as a celebration of Britain’s landscape as it emerged out of the dark days of war, Hawkes’ wandering – and wondering – about the origins of Britain’s foundations, from primeval swamp to North London pavement, was illustrated by her friend Henry Moore.  Dr Finn has used the book as well as Jacquetta’s notebooks, manuscripts, photographs and other archive items to revisit the key locations of A Land, reflecting on how Britain has changed since first publication and presents the results in new photography, film, and illustration.

Music for a Bowed Oscillator

The re-appearance of A Land is leading to all sorts of exciting new connections for Jacquetta’s work.  I was intrigued to learn about this piece by David Ap Martlet inspired by re-reading A Land.

Trip and Talk, Brimham Rocks and the Hepworth

An exciting event from the Hepworth Wakefield will highlight Jacquetta’s writing about landscape in a Yorkshire context.  On 12 November 2011, take a guided tour of the amazing Brimham Rocks, followed by a talk by Jacquetta’s biographer Dr Christine Finn at the Hepworth itself.  The event links with the Hepworth’s current display of the huge and stunning paintings of the Rocks by Clare Woods.

Full details about the day.




Land Revisited – Poets and Photos

I wrote about photographer Fay Godwin recently: her exhibition of photographs at the National Media Museum in Bradford has much in common with the ideas about landscape Jacquetta Hawkes expressed in A Land and in poetry and film.  In today’s Guardian, Margaret Drabble writes about Godwin’s life, links with authors, and her concerns about the ways landscape is harmed and restricted.  The exhibition is up until 27 March so there is still plenty of time to catch up with it!  Entry is free.

Land Revisited

Fay Godwin (1931-2005) photographed and wrote about landscape in a way that reminds me of Jacquetta Hawkes’s work. An exhibition which opened recently at the National Media Museum in Bradford revisits Godwin’s 1985 exhibition and book Land, a series of black and white images of British landscapes.  Curator Colin Harding said that she “was able to capture the differing moods and textures of the British landscape with remarkable sensitivity and without sentimentality”.

Godwin photographed and worked with well-known writers including Ted Hughes and Angela Carter.  She was president of the Ramblers’ Association in the late 1980s, campaigning for greater public access to the British countryside.  Her book Our forbidden land (1990) combines her photography with a detailed and passionate argument against the closure of the countryside.

Further information about the exhibition, which is open till March 2011.

Website about Fay Godwin.  Includes biography, lists of her exhibitions and books, and an essay by Philip Stokes reflecting on her work on the politics of land use.



Jacquetta at the Festival

Last night, John Brooker (Special Collections Assistant) and I attended the first events in the Ilkley Literature Festival Words, Land and Landscape strand, which is based around Jacquetta Hawkes’ centenary.  Our exhibition seemed to interest visitors and Dr Finn’s talk went extremely well.  The capacity audience asked many key questions and were keen to engage with Jacquetta’s life, works and legacy.  I was thrilled to see at last Jacquetta’s film about Barbara Hepworth: Figures in a Landscape.  My thoughts about the film, and John’s photos of the events, to follow soon.

I am also delighted to hear about an extra event in the Landscape strand. On Sunday 10 October, 3pm, at the Manor House Museum, community archaeologist Gavin Edwards will use “objects from the Bradford Museum Archaeology Collection and references to the regional landscape to illustrate the continuing validity of Jacquetta’s insight”.  Sounds like a fascinating event; I often think of Jacquetta’s writings when walking in the Yorkshire Dales, where the landscape’s “bones” are so clearly visible.