Norman Ackroyd: Just be a Poet

9 - 30 November 2016

We are proud to present a major exhibition by British landscape artist Norman Ackroyd RA. The exhibition includes some of Ackroyd’s greatest expressions of nature’s grandeur in prints and watercolours mostly produced between 1978 to 2012.

 

Drawing on the advice of his tutor at the Royal College of Art, Cecil Collins, to ‘Be single-minded. Just be a poet’, Ackroyd has remained true to his vision for the last 60 years. Ackroyd is inspired to his most powerful reflections on his native land by the extremes of nature and weather, producing wild, romantic landscapes. His knowledge of the British Isles, coastlines and its remotest places is deep, encyclopaedic, and unrivalled, informing a body of work like no other in his time.

 

In his essay for the exhibition catalogue, the poet Andrew McNeillie writes: “[Ackroyd] sees straight into and seizes things instantaneously as from mid-air, transmuting onto paper and into art what's always fleeting before eye and mind: the sea, sea-light, the sky in all its weathers, forms in nature and place, things waiting to be found and made new, if you are a seer, if you are an artist.” Ackroyd’s total devotion to landscape has been unusual in his time, but so has his use of printmaking as his principal medium in a period when etchings in black and white could scarcely have been less fashionable.