Rebecca Styles Announced as First Artist in Residence at Thorp Perrow Arboretum
For 2024, North Yorkshire’s beautiful Thorp Perrow Arboretum welcomes British landscape painter Rebecca Styles as their very first Artist in Residence. Throughout the year, Rebecca will be sketching and painting en plein air in Thorp Perrow’s 100 acres of parkland, making works inspired by its spectacular variety of trees, which includes five National Plant Collections, as the seasons change from spring and summer through to autumn and winter.
In July, Rebecca’s spring and summer sketches will be on show at Thorp Perrow’s Summer House, and following her residency the entire collection of drawings and paintings will be exhibited to the public.
Landscape is at the heart of Rebecca’s practice, and all her collections stem from extended projects related to unique locations. Using natural materials, she explores a deeper connection to ‘place’ in her work with an emphasis on creating landscape with landscape – using local earth pigments, grit, charcoal and other found materials to create her oil paints. Rebecca is a recipient of a Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award and a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary for her work involving raw pigments and traditional paint making, and as her year at Thorp Perrow progresses, she will be hosting talks and workshops on plein air painting and the creation of foraged earth paints.
Rebecca says: “During my visits to Thorp Perrow this year I will be out and about with my paints making notes and sketches, and I very much hope that visitors will come and say hello if they see me, to chat about nature and learn more about its influence on my work. I feel honored to be given the chance to spend time exploring and painting these beautiful gardens, with their stunning trails and glades, important plant collections and champion trees. I will be busy all year in the park, and back at my studio I will be creating an arboretum collection of oil paintings for exhibition.”
Lady Ropner of Thorp Perrow says: “This is our first art residency at Thorp Perrow, and we are delighted to be working with an artist with such an intimate connection to the British landscape. The Arboretum is incredibly beautiful, and holds such important collections, so we are excited to see it documented and celebrated in Rebecca’s work as the year progresses.”
Rebecca has spent recent years exploring some of the UK’s most beautiful locations, collecting foraged materials for use in her paintings and creating a series of works for exhibition, including her first Hebridean collection, Bigger Than Us, shown at Grinneabhat Gallery, North Bragar in spring 2022, followed by Alchemy, an exhibition of paint, poetry and place in collaboration with writer Heather Young, shown at Baile na Cille Church on the Isle of Lewis, and her winter 2022/23 project
Finding Lewis at Talla Na Mara Arts Centre on the Isle of Harris. Throughout 2023, Rebecca focused on developing her work through a series of plans and residencies based on engaging with new and diverse landscapes. She took up a two-week residency at Brisons Veor, Cornwall, where she explored, in contrast to Scotland’s Western Isles, the softer but still wild landscape of Britain’s South West edge. The resulting collection was exhibited as her very first solo show, at Whitewater Contemporary in Polzeath, Cornwall. In November she undertook a three-week residency at Casa Tagumerche in La Gomera, Canary Islands, at a community art venue 400 meters above sea level with magnificent, unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean.
This new project at Thorp Perrow Arboretum will run from January to December 2024 and is kindly supported by Wallace Seymour Fine Art of Settle, who will be supplying Rebecca with a selection of their unique earth pigments, all sourced in the county of Yorkshire.
See Rebecca Styles, Artist in Residence, at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Bedale, North Yorkshire, DL8 2PS.
See www.thorpperrow.com throughout 2024 for further information on Rebecca’s exhibitions, talks and workshops, and follow the project on Rebecca’s blog at rebeccastyles.co.uk.
See www.wallaceseymour.co.uk for information on art materials.