Arcadia for All? Rethinking Landscape Painting Now

15 September 2023 – 28 January 2024, Gallery 1

The exhibition explores the fragility of our environment as a result of human activity. Some of the paintings highlight the pressures that capitalism is imposing on nature or offer alternative systems to live off the land collectively, while the show also deals with issues around equity, the colonial legacies of landscape and environmental racism.
A canvas covered in ripped and damaged patches of various shades of red.
Simon Callery, 'Stura', 2021. Canvas, distemper, thread and wood.
‘Arcadia for All? Rethinking Landscape Painting Now’ is a new exhibition coming to Attenborough Arts Centre from The Stanley & Audery Burton Gallery at the University of Leeds that raises pertinent questions about who has access to nature, where and how. The exhibition challenges a nostalgic, idyllic and elitist idea of landscape. It embraces and celebrates nature in all its forms, acknowledging that in the 21st century most people in the UK access nature on a regular basis through allotments, community gardens, public parks or even simply through windows and screens.
‘Arcadia for All?’ features a wonderfully broad spectrum of artworks by over thirty artists, including Hurvin Anderson, Andrew Grassie, Lubaina Himid, Matthew Krishanu, Elizabeth Magill and George Shaw. They all approach nature from many different directions, expanding the notion of landscape painting in new, unexpected and sometimes radical and playful ways. Moreover, the exhibition celebrates the vitality and variety of contemporary painting in all its materiality and visual richness.
The exhibition has been guest curated by Dr Judith Tucker, Senior Lecturer at the School of Design, University of Leeds and Geraint Evans, Pathway Leader MA Painting at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London.
To view the exhibition catalogue of artwork, click here.
A colourful and bright painting of five lily pads floating on water, with abstract trees painted in the background.
Cara Nahaul, 'Rivers to Tend', 2022. Oil on board. ©The Artist.
Kimathi Donkor, ‘Call Me Blessed’, 2016. Oil and acrylic on canvas. ©The Artist.
Kimathi Donkor, ‘Call Me Blessed’, 2016. Oil and acrylic on canvas. ©The Artist.
Dan Hays, ‘Delilah Lookout 3’, 2020. Oil on canvas. ©The Artist.
Dan Hays, ‘Delilah Lookout 3’, 2020. Oil on canvas. ©The Artist.
A hotdog stand sits in the middle of a woodland clearing with a mountain in the background.
Geraint Evans, 'Frankfurter', 2022. Oil on canvas. ©The Artist. Photo: B J Deakin Photography.
A painting of a bench in a park covered in striped tape to stop people sitting on the bench.
Narbi Price, 'Untitled Bench Painting (Lockdown) 2'. 2021. Acrylic on panel. ©The Artist.
A dark painting of a shabby bungalow surrounded by fencing. It has one light on, with the bare trees and wind turbines in the background.
Judith Tucker, 'Night Fitties: we came for Barnsley feast week', 2023. Oil on linen. © The Artist. Photo: Tom McVeigh.

Participating Artists

Logo for The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds University Library Gallery.
Logo for the University of Leeds.