Artist’s ‘lockdown diary’ on display for the first time

Below Hay Bluff

Artist Philip Hughes presents a collection of daily paintings created during a period of the pandemic lockdown in 2020. 

Hughes explored the areas within walking distance of Craswell near the border of Wales and England, along the Monnow River, through mountain and fields, and along the Black Hill to Hay Bluff. Hughes notes: “The landscape is very special here. There are no ploughed fields, rather a series of grassy sheep fields with hedges which makes this agricultural pattern in the valley. Particularly special are the old drovers’ tracks which are marked with vertical stones which come out the geology here. And of course, the twisted old hawthorns, holly and ashes.” 

The exhibition includes 30 small works dated from April to May 2020. All the works are acrylic and gouache on paper. Seventeen larger works developed from this diary-style practice are also exhibited. In addition, one of his bound notebooks of observations will be on display. Hughes often works from notebooks that he takes with him everywhere he goes and in which he records and sketches what he sees. The notebook that he kept in Craswall is now in the National Collection at the British Museum. 

The collection of works will be on display during Herefordshire Art Week (h-Art) from Saturday 3 September to Sunday 13 September at Cabalva Farm Gallery near Hay-on-Wye, HR3 6EX.

Also showing are new works from Welsh landscape artist Daniel Crawshaw, steel sculptor Aragorn Dick-Reade, and animal sculptor Sally Matthews. 

About Cabalva Farm

Cabalva Farm is a working farm set amidst gently rolling hills, meadows and streams. Its historic buildings, garden courtyard, stables and expansive views of the Rive Wye and the Black Mountains, river fishing, Offa's Dyke Walk, and trout-filled pond make it a perfect country escape. Nearby Hay-on-Wye, home of the Telegraph Hay Literary Festival and undisputed capitol of second-hand bookshops, has lively open-air markets, galleries and festivals year round.
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