Visitors urged to get muddy with new art exhibition inspired by the Battle of Flodden

Art lovers will be asked to put on wellies and trudge through a mud-filled ditch to get the most from a new exhibition set to open in Northumberland.
Artist Jim Grant.Artist Jim Grant.
Artist Jim Grant.

Inspired by a visit to the scene of the 1513 Battle of Flodden at Branxton, artist Jim Grant has created a series of paintings of the countryside there.

Jim was struck by how a ditch built across the battlefield has drained the marsh where an estimated 10,000 Scots were killed fighting the English forces led by the Earl of Surrey.

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So he has created an 18-metre long ditch inside Berwick’s Gymnasium Gallery and filled it two feet deep with soil.

“The idea is that people viewing the art will feel more connected with the scenes I’ve painted if they are actually walking across the soil as they look at the pictures,” said Jim, 53, who splits his time between working from a studio on the edge of the Tweed in Berwick and a second studio near Limoux in the south of France.

“You can either bring your own wellies, or I’ll have plenty of pairs at the gallery available to borrow,” he said.

Jim is originally from North Yorkshire, but fell in love with Berwick many years ago when his artist parents John and Margaret relocated to the town.

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“As an artist I find the light here extraordinary and then there’s the landscape and all the history,” said Jim. “It’s a calm, comforting environment that I have found inspirational for the sort of art I want to create.

“It’s no accident that truly great artists like Lowry loved Berwick.”

The second part of Jim’s exhibition, Gentle Hills Slowly Moving, is supported by Berwick Visual Arts, and was inspired by the Far Skerr lime kiln on the edge of Scremerston beach.

“The lime kiln is an iconic part of the landscape there, but bit by bit it’s slowly wearing away and ultimately will fall into the sea,” he said. “I wanted to capture images of it before that happens.”

The exhibition opens at Berwick Gymnasium Gallery at runs until March 22.

The gallery is open each Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 4pm.