Friday 10 November 2017

Of Gardens Long Run Wild - John Caple

Of Gardens Long Run Wild, by John Caple at John Martin Gallery, Mayfair, London.

I was really pleased to see that John Martin had another exhibition of John Caple's atmospheric paintings. John Caple is completely self-taught. His family have farmed and quarried in Mendip in Somerset since the 18th century. The tight community in which he grew up has a rich history of people whose stories were passed down through successive generations. His paintings feature re-occurring faces of his mother, grandparents, uncles and others in scenes derived from his imagination through stories he is told of their pasts. Each painting describes specific episodes in the lives of these characters.

'I hoped to produce a series of paintings which would explore a relationship to both nature and mystery. In a world in which we can feel increasingly disenchanted from the earth, I wanted to think about the search for re-enchantment and a simpler wildness within us. It is perhaps that small wilderness within that shapes our relationship to the macrocosm, and so ultimately shapes the world we live in. I looked to poetry hoping to find insight and was immediately drawn to Queen Mab by Percy Shelley. A visionary poem, seen as revolutionary when it was published, the importance of nature remains at the very heart of Queen Mab throughout its length. It describes for me a nature that is at once both simple and profound, pragmatic and mysterious, where hope is a fragile beauty that we each hold within our hands'. John Caple, 1917.

Moon Village, (acrylic on canvas)

The Tower

Bird Grove

Melancholy Loneliness

And Darksome Glens

Mab and Ianthe

The House on the Lake

Mab and Ianthe

Queen Mab

The Bird House

That Yielded to the Wanderer of Deep


The Stars The Sea The Earth

How Beautiful This Night II

The Night

Where Silence Undisturbed

Dark Forest

The Refuge

Forest House

From the Breathing Lawn a Forest Springs

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