Jeremy Houghton takes flight for latest exhibition
One of the most prolific, and collectable, of British artists is showcasing his work in a brand new exhibition. Jeremy Houghton’s latest show is hot in the heels of his last sell out exhibition entitled A Portrait of Highgrove’ where he was the Artist in Residence.
He has now turned his attention to Flight and his passion for both ornithology and the wetland habitat of many kinds of birds around the world is transformed through this exhibition into a stunning study of light and movement.
The exhibition is in two parts:
Flamingos: While living and working in South Africa, Houghton was inspired by the vast groups of flamingo and the changing hues of light upon the wetland habitat in which they gathered. Affected by the density of heat and the merging of air and water – the resultant haze caused the distant flamingos to appear as a shimmering mirage, distorted into abstraction.
The resulting large scale, semi-abstract oil paintings capture the colour and exuberance of the birds as a mass of pink energy moving across the canvas. Ignoring detail, Houghton creates shape and texture in expressionist style, with a kinetic rhythm that gives the impression of movement from bold brush strokes and the textural build-up of paint.
Fascinated by the migratory formations of birds in flight, Houghton has created a series of monochromatic gouache and watercolour paintings that evoke the essence of avian flight by focussing on the interplay of light and movement.
Houghton says: ‘You don’t have to live long in Africa for it to get under your skin. I lived there for 6 years and it has continued to inspire my work 8 years later. The flamingo caught my eye whilst travelling up and down the continent, and ever since this has been the symbol/motif/tool I have used to explore the concepts of light, movement, flight and space with my painting practise.
Slimbridge is the perfect setting to exhibit my most recent ornithological studies. The late great Sir Peter Scott founded this Wetland Centre – he too enjoyed painting birds in flight, so it feels very right to continue and support his legacy.’