Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Where Art Is; Exhibition Is First in Great British Debate

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Home Is Where Art Is; Exhibition Is First in Great British Debate

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone

W ATERCOLOUR paintings by a Who's Who of famous artists will go on show in Newcastle today in the first major exhibition of the Great British Art Debate.

William Blake, JMW Turner and a host of Pre-Raphaelites contribute to Vision & Imagination which features paintings from Tate Britain, major municipal collections in Norwich and Sheffield and the Laing Art Gallery, where the exhibition runs until December 5. The Great British Art Debate is the result of a collaboration between these four major collections and its aim is to get us thinking about what British art has to say about identity and Britishness.

Sarah Richardson, keeper of fine art at the Laing, said the exhibition was also designed to encourage people to think afresh about watercolour painting.

She said: "The golden age of watercolours is said to be 1780 to 1850, taking in artists like Turner, Thomas Girtin and John Cotman.

"They are really great painters but theirs is not the only story of watercolours in Britain. In this exhibition we are also showing different aspects of watercolour and different stories."

Sarah said the title of the exhibition, Vision & Imagination, reflected the achievements of the great watercolour artists in making paintings full of atmosphere and light. To look at the world in that way they had to have great imagination," she explained.

"These artists were moving on from just recording gentlemen's estates in a topographical way and responding to the romantic movement in literature and art. …

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