Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie

Imagery that ‘trips, bites and troubles’

11 September 2021 – 8 January 2022

An exhibition exploring eerie representations of rural landscapes from the aftermath of the First World War to the present. In his essay for the catalogue Robert Macfarlane explains that the eerie ‘involves that form of fear which is felt first as unease then as dread, and it tends to be incited by glimpses and tremors rather than outright attack. Horror specialises in confrontation and aggression; the eerie in intimation and intimidation.

The exhibition is grouped around four overlapping themes:

Ancient Landscapes — features that are inexplicable and mysterious that connect us to the unknown distant past

Unquiet Nature — natural forms used to unsettling effect, such as trees, lonely expanses of heath and the borderlands where different worlds meet

Absence/Presence — how the inclusion or absence of figures and objects invoke the eerie through uncertainty and suggestion

Atmospheric Effect — the influence of weather, season, light and time of day on our responses to landscape.

Large Print Captions: Absence/Presence | Ancient Landscapes | Unquiet Nature | Atmospheric Effect | Showcase captions

Artists represented include Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Monica Poole, Henry Moore, Ithell Colquhoun, Edward Burra, George Shaw, Ingrid Pollard, Laurence Edwards, Blaze Cyan and Annie Ovenden. Also featured are illustrations for the ghost stories of M R James, eerie artwork from the Ghost Box record label and Derek Jarman’s celebrated short film A Journey to Avebury.

Images from top left to bottom right; George Shaw – The Heart of the Wood | Stanley Donwood – Dark Hedges | Paul Nash – Monster Field | Graham Sutherland – Pastoral

Title Image ; Blaze Cyan – Croft Castle

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