Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 final at Winkworth Arboretum

A viewpoint over a valley of multicoloured trees at Winkworth Arboretum

The final showdown of popular Sky Arts TV series Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 will be filmed in front of a live audience at Winkworth Arboretum on Wednesday 13 September.

The competition, produced by Storyvault Films and hosted by Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner, will see the 2017 finalists tasked with capturing the beauty of Winkworth's early autumn treescapes on canvas.

After prevailing in six previous heats across the country and a semi-final, the three finalists will be challenged to paint a scene of the arboretum in just four and a half hours. The winning artist will receive a £10,000 commission for a famous cultural landmark.

Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner, hosts of the 2017 Landscape Artist of the Year competition
Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner, hosts of the 2017 Landscape Artist of the Year competition

The artists won't know the exact subject of their final painting until the day, but the slopes and vistas of Winkworth Arboretum should offer ample inspiration. 

You're invited to watch the artists at work from 10am when the gates open. The winner of Landscape Artist of the Year 2017 will be declared at around 5.30pm.

" As it’s consciously planted for constantly evolving colour, the arboretum provides endless artistic inspiration across all seasons"
- Mike Smyth, Assistant Visitor Services Manager

Mike Smyth, Assistant Visitor Services Manager at Winkworth Arboretum, says: “We’re really excited to be welcoming Sky Arts and Storyvault for the culmination of 2017’s Landscape Artist of the Year competition.

"Winkworth has always been a popular location for creative pursuits. As it’s consciously planted for constantly evolving colour, the arboretum provides endless artistic inspiration across all seasons. We can’t wait to see how the finalists capture this special landscape.”

Early autumn trees at Winkworth Arboretum
Autumnal trees at Winkworth Arboretum

Enclosed within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Winkworth Arboretum was first established in the mid-twentieth century by amateur arborist Dr Wilfrid Fox.

An avid collector of trees and lover of horticulture, Dr Fox saw the undulating hillside of Thorncombe Valley as the perfect canvas on which to “paint” a large-scale scene of blazing autumn colour. His plantings include large groups of acers, liquidambars, beeches and oaks, all famed for their seasonal hues. 

Eighty years later, Dr Fox’s vision thrives under the care of the National Trust, appreciated by thousands of visitors every year for its springtime bluebells and fiery autumnal views.

See it on TV

If you can't make it to the final on the 13th, look out for the programme on Sky Arts in early December. Check the TV schedule >