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'A Landscape Painter's Perspective' An exhibition by artist Peter M Hicks

Reflections in the water, Studley Royal 2023 - by Peter M Hicks part of A Landscape Painter's Perspective at Fountains Abbey
Reflections in the water 2023 - a painting by Peter M Hicks at Studley Royal | © Joe Cornish

Explore Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal as a garden and romantic ruin through the eyes of one of northern England's leading landscape artists, Peter M Hicks.

The exhibition launches 14 June 2024

See 'A Landscape Painter's Perspective' exhibition in Fountains Mill from 14 June - 11 August 2024

Learn more about the exhibition

Throughout the upstairs rooms of Fountains Mill you'll be able to see the paintings, studies and sketches of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal created by Peter during his time here in 2023. You'll also find some special handmade objects from Peter's studio, including paint pots and brushes, and if you're feeling inspired you can sit at Peter's work bench and create artwork of your own to display in the Mill.

The exhibition continues in the water garden, so take a wander along to Studley Lake and have a look in the Tabernacle where you'll find more of Peter’s work on display.

Meet Peter M Hicks

Peter M. Hicks is an established artist living and working in North Yorkshire, where the landscape of the area – the dales, moors, and coast has long been the focus of his paintings. For many years he led the art department at Queen Elizabeth College, Darlington, and lectured for Durham University and the University of Hull.

In 2020, he self-published the monograph, Entrance to a Lane. Recent exhibitions include Reflections and Connections – Artistic Responses to Landscape, Dales Countryside Museum, 2023; Reflections on Landscape at Dales Countryside Museum, 2020 and Danby Moors Centre, 2021. Peter’s life and work has been documented by friend and filmmaker, Nicholas Turner in over three documentaries, including Dawn to Dusk 2011.

Landscape Artist Peter M Hicks sitting in his studio amongst his artwork, paint brushes, pots and paint splattered floor.
Peter M Hicks in his studio | © Joe Conish

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal may not have needed me to speak about its rich heritage and landscape vistas, but I have come to see that it has given me a chance to explore landscape and waterways in my own choice of texture, colour, and use of material and pictorial language. This is all at a time when I might be expected to be slowing down concerning my painters practice. It has been said of me however, that in fact this opportunity has come when I am at the height of my ongoing fulfilment.

A quote by Peter M Hicks

Objects from Peter's studio

The exhibition features handmade objects from Peter’s studio such as paint pots, brushes, and his work bench. Peter upcycles old jewellery boxes and wooden boxes that he finds in antique shops into water colour boxes. He also makes his own work benches, brush handles, and uses simple yet accessible materials such as old margarine tubs for mixing his paints.

To learn more about Peter's studio and his work, you'll be able to join him 'in conversation' with renowned landscape photographer Joe Cornish on 13 July. More details to follow.

Fountains by water 2023 - by Peter M Hicks part of A Landscape Painter's Perspective at Fountains Abbey
Fountains by water 2023 - a painting by Peter M Hicks at Fountains Abbey | © Joe Cornish

What inspired this exhibition?

“I first met Peter in July 2022, when he had been invited to Fountains by renowned landscape photographer Joe Cornish. Peter was reminiscing that he had sketched here many years ago and I politely said that it was time for him to visit us again, from such a brief conversation came great things.

As it has always done, this special place captures an artist’s imagination. The commission has created much more work than we ever intended but it has also to my mind captured Peter’s personality itself and his very particular aesthetic.

Peter’s studio in the North York Moors is inspirational, it embodies his way of working, his approach to his art and we have tried to give some hint of this in the exhibition. Peter has completely understood and captured our spirit of place as both a garden and a romantic ruin, but also the way the iconic image of the abbey itself is part of our Yorkshire identity.”

– Justin Scully, General Manager Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal

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