Artistic stroll through the countryside

Country Walk - An Exhibition of Paintings by Jill Hodgson is at The Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead (off the B1456) until January 3. Open Mon-Sat 9-6 and Sun 10.

Country Walk - An Exhibition of Paintings by Jill Hodgson is at The Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead (off the B1456) until January 3. Open Mon-Sat 9-6 and Sun 10.30-4.30.

Jill Hodgson's solo exhibition 'Country Walk' is inspired by daily treks with her dog Gandolph, a border terrier. Come rain or shine she meanders through the fields around her home on the beautiful Shotley Peninsula exercising both her dog and her mind; studying and admiring the nature around her.

The show features over 20 panels, in plaster and paint, single ones, diptych and triptych; featuring a wealth of grasses, leaves, trees and fields. It captures nature's delicacy and might, and many of the works invite contemplation.

Hodgson's style is innovative. In Between The Fields, three panels, ancient oak trees edge ploughed fields of intense texture; scored into, impressed, and scraped with trowels and knifes The hues are complimentary browns, beiges and blues; the delicate sky almost abstract.


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Hodgson's works are full of detail but also possess a loose beauty. In Cock's Foot And Mallow, three panels, distinctive grasses rise rigid and coarse, tipped with weightless feathery ends. Wild pink mallow flowers dance around their base. The tones and detail at the bottom of the panels add depth and clarity but as ones eyes drift upwards there's a delightful airiness to the works. July Grasses, two panels, and Soft Rush, three panels, possess a similar serenity. In Cornfield, single panel, there's more intensity. Hodgson captures the coarse, sun scorched quality of the heads of wheat brilliantly; the sky glazed with deeper blues to add force.

The exhibition also includes a number of smaller single panels of close-ups of leaves; including those of sycamore, oak and rowan trees. They resemble beautifully coloured imprints, almost in the manner of a fossil, set into a contrasting stark white background of textured plaster. A variety of rich red, orange and green glazes truly bring the texture and hues of each leaf to life.

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Jill Hodgson trained in Art & Design at Suffolk College, initially working as an interior designer. But after a stint in Australia she decided to become a fully fledged artist, and on her return to her native Suffolk started to experiment with a range of media. Over the last few years her innovative paint and plaster works have built up quite a following. Exhibitions include Buckenham Galleries, in Aldeburgh, The Pond Gallery at Snape, and The Eyestorm Gallery and Town Hall Galleries in Ipswich. Jill has also co-ordinated a number of exhibitions for Suffolk Open Studios.

A fascinating exhibition that will delight those who love our beautiful Suffolk countryside. Don't miss it.

Sonia Carvill

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