Artist Jelly Green celebrates the English country garden with Art for Cure exhibition at Somerleyton Hall
PUBLISHED: 19:00 13 June 2019
Nick Ilott Photography
Art for Cure, the art exhibition that raises money for cancer charities, has quickly become a cultural institution. This year the show is shining the spotlight on two very different artists
The Great English Garden has provided the inspiration for this year's two day Art for Cure art exhibition and sale which is being staged that the majestic Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft.
The theme for this year's art show celebrates the timeless appeal of the English country garden. The
Great Dixter, home to the late Christopher Lloyd, devoted gardener and writer has inspired Jelly Green with its deep, herbaceous early summer swathes, wild flower meadow and famous 'hot' borders full of vivid colour and architectural form. It has always felt the garden of a real home, not highly-manicured but a genuine plantsman's garden and Jelly has captured some of it's beauty in the past months, its early with a collection of stunning oils.
And then it was on to Sissinghurst, an horticultural Mecca which could not fail to inspire an 'en-plein' enthusiast like Jelly Green, particularly with its irresistible and unique iris varieties just coming into bloom.
Sissinghurst, located in the Weald of Kent, continues to be one of the most visited public gardens in the world. It is here in the 1930's that Vita Sackville-West a self-taught, amateur horticulturalist and garden designer, created one of the greatest known gardens in Britain.
Art for Cure will be staging their annual exhibition of new work, this time featuring the hugely talented Suffolk painter Jelly Green and set against the beautiful rooms of Somerleyton Hall in Suffolk, home of Hugh and Lara Crossley and their young family.
Organiser Belinda Gray said: "This a rare opportunity for any artist to exhibit at one of the country's most spectacular country houses with an enviable art collection of its own and spectacular Grade II listed gardens."
Joining Jelly is celebrated sculptor Jeremy Moulsdale, who was the bestselling artist at Art For Cure's Glemham Hall show in May 2018.
Belinda said: "His work is a perfect match with the beauty and gentle planting of Somerleyton's sunken white garden and we are delighted to have such a large body of his affordable work to exhibit outside in such a beautiful setting."
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Jelly Green is a figurative and landscape painter living and working between London and her home in Suffolk. She has been mentored by Maggi Hambling since she was 16 years old and is a former student of The Prince's Drawing School.
The relationship between 26 year old Jelly and the irrepressible Maggi is one that continues to thrive and the two continue to take regular drawing classes together. Jelly's work is on permanent display in The Rowley Gallery in Kensington and has been acquired for private collections in Europe, the US, Asia, the Middle East, and Australasia.
Belinda continues to champion Jelly's work because, not only is it constantly evolving, it never loses sight of its roots in nature. "Jelly embodies the spirit of place within her giant canvases through her dense, evocative scenes and signature, rich brushstrokes. With inspiration from Cedric Morris' iris fields and such nationally treasured gardens as Great Dixter this exhibition celebrates the botanical beauty of our English gardens with breathtaking intensity."
Having an exhibition in such spendid surroundings has had an inspiring effect on Jelly. She said: "Growing up in the English countryside felt incredibly special. I spent a lot of time exploring overgrown woodlands, getting tangled in the goose grass that grows in the ditches, and walking through meadows with cows parsley so tall it towered over me. It was, and still is a place of such beauty and adventure, something I always try to capture when painting it. With its ever-changing landscape the trees become a wonderful marker of time, whether painting the melancholy of winter or the first unfurling buds in spring, it's always moving, making it both a challenging and exciting subject to paint."
Jeremy Moulsdale's ethereal sculpture was a natural choice for Somerleyton's romantic white garden. One of Art For Cure's most successful outdoor sculptors, his limited edition bronze and resin figures reflect a delight in life, are influenced by his exploration of meditation and mindfulness, and are a perfect match for the romantic and gentle planting of Somerleyton's sunken garden.
His highly coveted, bronze limited edition figures have a lightness of spirit as they play under the mid-summer sky. His work can be seen in some of the great gardens of England and in both public and private collections as far afield as Asia and Australia.
"I'm delighted to be showing my work in Somerleyton Hall and to be able to contribute towards Art for Cure's great mission, my own mother passed away when I was just 24 so I understand personally the importance of what they do."
Somerleyton Hall is an important landmark in north Suffolk, both historically and geographically. There are records of an important home on the site of the current hall dating back to the Noman Conquest. Now an outstanding Grade ll family home on the grandest scale, its landscaped park and formal gardens are also Grade ll listed on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.
The formal gardens occupy 12 acres of the wider 5,000 acre estate and boast a yew hedge maze by William Andrews Nesfield in 1846 and ridge and furrow greenhouses designed by Joseph Paxton architect of The Crystal Palace and Grade II listed in their own right. There is also an aviary, loggia and huge wisteria smothered pergola stretching some 90 metres (300 feet).
Art for Cure founder Belinda Gray said that money raised from the annual exhibitions went to support the work of various cancer charities. Recent donations have included: £100,000 towards proposed, new breast care unit at Ipswich Hospital; contribution towards a Littlelifts chemotherapy support box at James Paget, NNUH and Ipswich Hospitals; funding post-surgery exercise classes for those coming through breast cancer here in Ipswich and Felixstowe; six treatments at Woodbridge Complimentary Health Centre for those on the breast cancer treatment journey; donation to CCIS (Cancer Campaign in Suffolk) 'All About Me' beauty workshops, scarves and wig fitting and £400.000 donated to specific breast cancer research at London's Breast Cancer Now research centre.
Art for Cure's English Country Garden exhibition is at Somerleyton Hall on June 15-16. Admission to the exhibition is free but admission charges apply to the house and gardens.