These artworks are part of Ways of Seeing, a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection. Ways of Seeing turns the borough into a gallery with 33 internationally renowned artists displayed in 28 unexpected locations.
Clare Woods has been called one of the most important painters working today. Grim’s Ditch is based on an ancient earthwork (an artificial bank of soil) that runs across three counties in England. Woods produced this painting after taking a series of photographs.
She says: “I am interested in the layered history of Britain and the green lanes and drovers’ roads... The movement of people and livestock from one end of the country to the other is fascinating and the path of these roads was totally dependent on the original landscape so they are for me a link to an earlier time when the UK looked very different.”
For Woods, the act of painting is as important as the subject matter itself. She concentrates on colour, texture, balance and scale. She follows the tradition of British landscape artists such as John Piper, Paul Nash and Samuel Palmer.
Clare Woods was born in Southampton and studied at Bath College and Goldsmiths, University of London. She has exhibited widely and her work is in many major national and international collections. In 2011, Woods completed a mural for Hampstead Heath Overground station. In 2012, she created two large-scale permanent works, Carpenter’s Curve and Brick Field, for the London 2012 Olympic Park.
Sir Jacob Epstein
Sunlight falls through the trees in this view of Epping Forest by Jacob Epstein. Sir Jacob Epstein was born in America but moved to Britain in 1905, settling in Loughton. He was fascinated by the scenery of Epping Forest and spent the summer of 1933 painting here with his daughter Peggy Jean. This is one of almost 100 watercolours he did. He remembered: “As usual with me, what I started as a mere diversion became in the end a passion, and I could think of nothing else but painting. I arose to paint, and painted until sundown…”
Painted in the outdoors, this watercolour is similar to works by the French Impressionists of the 19th century. It is unusual for Epstein, who is mostly known as a sculptor.
Sir Jacob Epstein, an American-British sculptor, was born in New York to Russian and Polish parents. He worked in Paris in 1911 - 12, where he mixed with avant-garde artists including Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani and Constantin Brâncuși. He was made a British citizen in 1907 and knighted in 1954. Epstein was highly respected in the British art world but remained a controversial figure until his death.
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