Image: Sundown, c.1955 (oil on canvas), Knight, Laura (1877-1970) / Wolverhampton Art Gallery, West Midlands, UK / © Wolverhampton Art Gallery / © Estate of Dame Laura Knight. All rights reserved 2023 / Bridgeman Images
Follow in Dame Laura Knight’s footsteps with this brand new trail and explore her connections with the Malvern Hills.
In connection with the new Dame Laura Knight exhibition taking place at Worcester Art Gallery a special trail around related locations across The Malverns has been created.
The new exhibition Dame Laura Knight: I Paint Today opens at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum on Saturday 13 January and runs until 30 June 2024.
Curated by Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, I Paint Today pays homage to this significant artist who was the first female artist welcomed into the Royal Academy and whose love of Worcestershire and the Malvern Hills inspired her art throughout the later years of her life.
I Paint Today brings a stirring selection of Knight’s work to Worcestershire and focuses on key events, characters and achievements which helped to shape her life and career. Works from the Worcester City collection will be joined by loans from regional and national collections, to help tell the story of a woman who grew out of the Victorian era and developed and adapted her craft through a period of tumultuous change.
From 1933 Laura Knight and her husband, Harold were frequent visitors to Malvern and fell in love with the dramatic landscape of the Malvern Hills which became a subject of her much-loved paintings. Knight claimed she did her best landscapes in Malvern and her paintings of this period demonstrate her love of the countryside in all seasons and leave us with a colourful record of the lives of ordinary working people and Worcestershire’s cultural history. She would start her day with a walk over the Malvern Hills, using make-shift studios around the hills to create from, and then meet fellow artists to ‘take the water’.
Through the 1920s and 1930s Knight was known for painting theatrical scenes, keen to show all aspects of performance. The Yellow Dress, a much-loved artwork in the Worcester City collection and featured in the exhibition, shows the costume-making studio at the Royal Shakespeare Company, capturing colour and artistry with thick brushstrokes.
At the outbreak of World War Two, Knight enlisted with the War Artists Advisory Committee. From the slopes of the Malvern Hills, she watched the bombings of Coventry and Birmingham. Laura painted many iconic images of the war including a pictorial record of the Nuremburg trials.
Despite moving back to London after Harold’s death, familiar echoes of the Malvern landscape that Dame Laura Knight loved so much can be detected in her paintings right up until the end of her life.
The exhibition runs from 13 January – 29 June at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum. Tickets can be booked by following the link below.Book Tickets here
Talks and tours for groups:
Groups can book a 30-minute talk with author and Dame Laura Knight expert Heather Whatley. Entry to the exhibition is included.
Bookable talks available are:
- An introduction to the life and work of Dame Laura Knight and this exhibition, I Paint Today
- Dame Laura Knight’s time in Malvern and her links to Worcestershire
To find out more and book, please email: [email protected].