George Rowlett’s joyful and vibrant paintings of garden designer Sarah Price’s garden are to be shown in an exhibition this summer at the Garden Museum, in collaboration with Art Space Gallery.
Spending a period of 15 days in Sarah’s garden last summer, Rowlett has created 19 paintings that are rich orchestrations of colour and energy. Each day, Rowlett saw the garden with fresh eyes, a new challenge of weather and changing light confronted him en plein air. The paintings have little in the way of botanical detail, but through thickly applied paints Rowlett depicts the feeling of the garden that day. Through the energy that oozes from each painting we can share in the thrill of their making.
Sarah Price treats her Victorian walled garden as a workshop in which to explore and experiment with her ideas of design and cultivation that have brought her recognition and success. Sarah co-designed the 2012 Gardens at London’s Olympic Park, and has won numerous awards, most notably Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Entering through a narrow gateway, her garden reveals itself as joyful, carefree and vibrant place; modern and naturalistic with free-flowing planting that is more wild meadow than formal garden.
Rowlett describes it as: “An enchanting, secluded place with a special atmosphere and light and delicate touch; a sort of tamed but still vigorous wildness. It was thrilling to be the garden of a young designer with a reputation for an iconoclastic and experimental approach to planting arrangements.”
All the paintings in this exhibition will be for sale. One of Rowlett’s greatest inspirations was the artist Ivon Hitchens, whose work will be celebrated in a concurrently running exhibition at the Garden Museum, Ivon Hitchens: The Painter in the Woods (8 May – 15 July 2019).