Artwork: Oil painting by Graham Sutherland, Cornish Tin Mine, Emerging Miner

Priority Day: Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781 - 2022

8 Jul 2022




8 Jul 2022

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Please note this event is for Friends, Academicians, Artist Network Members and Patrons. Please click here for general admission.

Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781-2022 is a major exhibition spanning four centuries of artwork, coming to the RWA this summer

The final instalment of the RWA’s elements series, Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1781-2022 tackles the most expansive and urgent of subject matters, bringing together important modern, historical and contemporary artworks, co-curated by artist Emma Stibbon RA RWA, art historian Professor Emerita Christiana Payne (Oxford Brookes University) and Nathalie Levi (Head of Programme – Curator of Exhibitions, RWA). It follows The Power of the Sea: Making Waves in British Art 1790-2014 (2014), Air: Visualising the Invisible in British Art 1768-2017 (2017) and Fire: Flashes to Ashes in British Art 1692-2019 (2019).

Earth examines how attitudes towards the landscape have evolved over the centuries and how artists’ approaches have changed over time; from the pastoral idylls of the 18th century, through representations of the Romantic Sublime, to present-day confrontations of the climate emergency. Encompassing depictions of the natural world from geological, spiritual, industrial, cultural and scientific perspectives.

This exhibition goes deep beneath the earth, exposes the core materiality of its elements, explores the substance of the surface, climbs dizzying heights and perches perilously on its edges. It bears witness to the earth’s mistreatment and its magnificence, its fullness and its fragility. Earth surveys the representation of our environment across four centuries, inviting us to consider our planet in all its abundance, precarity and preciousness.

Earth will be accompanied by a full-colour publication by Sansom and Co including three essays and over 50 images of work

Exhibiting artists: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Samuel John Lamorna Birch, William Blake, Mary Buckland, Edward Calvert, Edward Chell, George Clausen, John Constable, Edward William Cooke, John Sell Cotman, Alice Cunningham, Dalziel + Scullion, Susan Derges, Thomas Gainsborough, Anya Gallaccio, Anthony Gross, Andrew Hardwick, Rodney Harris, William Henry Hunt, Fiona Hingston, Kabir Hussain, Samuel Jackson, Laura Knight, Tania Kovats, Abigail Lane, Richard Long, Philip James De Loutherbourg, Siobhán McDonald, John Martin, David Nash, John Nash, Paul Nash, Mariele Neudeker, Samuel Palmer, Katie Paterson, Julian Perry, John Piper, Michael Porter, Kathy Prendergast, Eric Ravilious, Carol Rhodes, Yinka Shonibare, Stanley Spencer, Emma Stibbon, Graham Sutherland, Francis Towne, J. M. W. Turner, Anthony Whishaw.


Related Events:

Anthony Whishaw at 92: A Force of Nature - Academicians Exhibition, Kenny Gallery. FREE ENTRY.
Weekly exhibition tours - Tuesdays 12pm. No booking required. FREE with exhibition ticket.
Tuesday Teatime Tours - Tuesday 19 July, 2-4pm. For those living with dementia & their carers, FREE ENTRY.
Draw-a-live-goat with Street Goat - Saturday 30 July, 10.30am-4pm. FREE ENTRY – booking advised.
Curator Tour - Led by Emma Stibbon, Christiana Payne & Nathalie Levi – Saturday 6 August12-1pm, £5
After Hours - Thursday 18 August, 6-9pm, from £6
Bring Your Baby (12 months and under)8 September, 11am–12pm, FREE ENTRY.
Family workshops, various venues & times.
Artworks by Creative Youth Network’s Creative Course participants and Bristol Refugee Artists Collective will be shown during the exhibitions, on the Lower Ground Floor. FREE ENTRY

Image: Graham Sutherland OM (1903-1980), Cornish Tin Mine, Emerging Miner, 1943, oil on canvas, 118.1 x 76.2 cm. © Leeds Museums and Galleries © The Estate of Graham Sutherland 

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