One good Turner deserves another…
A friend of mine nearly ruined the last Turner exhibition I wandered round because of his inherent philistinism. ‘Why do they all look like they’ve been left out in the rain?’ was his take on the work of this great British master. He couldn’t understand how this man wasn’t merely trying to capture nature in all of its glory, he was seeking to change our very relationship with it. And this exhibition is of particular interest to us because it details Turner’s first North of England tour in 1797, which culminated in his arrival at his most northerly point in England, the village of Norham in Northumberland. It was an enlightening tour because it marked a period when the artist completed his transformation from an architectural draughtsman to a poet of the landscape sublime. His journey took in Yorkshire, Durham, Tyneside, Northumberland and the Tweed Valley, before he moved into the Scottish Borders then onto Cumbria and the Lake District. This exhibition will include 12 colour studies representing the route he took, which will be displayed alongside two of his sketchbooks of the Tweed and the Lakes. The Granary Gallery will also have three additional works, which were not part of that tour, taking in Holy Island (1829), Warkworth Castle (1799) and Dunstanborough Castle (1829).
Turner: Northern Exposure, 25 May-13 October, Granary Gallery, Berwick. berwickvisualarts.co.uk