The Burton’s latest environmental commission by contemporary landscape painter Paul Lewin launched over the weekend. The new artwork will be on display at the Burton until the end of the year before joining the Burton’s Permanent Collection. The piece is accompanied by a number of additional works from Paul, some of which are available to purchase.
The paintings were completed using two local pigments native to the Bideford area. Bideford Black, which Paul has used in his work since 2000 when he first located the seam at Abbotsham cliff, and also a yellow ochre clay found on the mudflats at Skern near Appledore. The final commission is called ‘Northam Burrows from Skern’ by Paul Lewin.
Talking about the finished commission, Paul says ‘I was surprised, despite the limitations of using only two colours how true it was to the place I was depicting, the greys and ochres of the Skern mudflats could be perfectly recreated, there was a natural harmony achieved by the mixing of the two colours.’
The Taw and Torridge estuary is an ecologically diverse and internationally important landscape, part of the North Devon Biosphere. The salt marshes and mudflats of Skern, although not your typical picturesque landscape, are a vital part of that ecosystem. This is a landscape under threat, particularly at risk from climate change and any rise in sea level. I believe one of the privileges of being an artist is the ability to open people’s eyes and raise awareness of their lived environment thus highlighting the beauty and fragility of places that may otherwise be taken for granted.’
Director of the Burton Ian Danby in conversation with Paul Lewin: