A collection of exceptional landscape paintings Richard Hoare has brought together the scenes of his travels in the British Isles and Ireland; the 1 2 3 7 of the title referring to the line of sight mileage from his home in Southern Wiltshire to his chosen painting locations from Dorset to Sussex, Cumbria, Scotland, Ireland and Derbyshire.
‘My journey obeys no reason but every sense’ he says. ‘It was like a dance in which light provided the music,’ he says. ‘The main characteristic of my painting is an all pervading sense of movement; a constant turning of all in front of me and the movement of the clouds and arcing of the sun are just the surface of this movement which is without limit.’
Born in East Anglia, Hoare has lived a peripatetic life between France and Spain and the far east; often on pilgrimage but also often merely exploring the terrain.
The sense of ascent; the hills and mountains and their pinnacles leading to what the great Romanian scholar of religions Mircea Eliade described as forming ‘an overwhelming superiority of power,’ is a perennial feature of Hoare’s work.
The new works – his paintings of the Eden Valley in Cumbria and in Derbyshire – have a new quality; a deeper surface and greater texture than some of their predecessors.
Starting from his home in Dorset, Hoare has spent much of the last four years exploring the landscape he knows most intimately; the ridge of chalk downs that runs between Salisbury and Shaftesbury and in particular the tumuli and copses of the Wylye Valley.
As our freedoms have been restored, he has travelled to Knepp in Sussex and thereafter to the North of England where his focus was the ancient tumulus of Croom Hill in Derbyshire; Eden Valley in Cumbria and Bla Bheinn mountain on the isle of Skye.
Also in the show are a series of impressive paintings of Croagh Padraig (St Patrick’s Mountain) and Cliara (Clare Island) both in Ireland which punctuate one of the wildest stretches of European coastline with the highest winds and largest seas of any.
‘All the works arise out of a journey which is my working life …a path of understanding’ he says.