Exhibit: Retrospective views of artist’s 60-year career

Artist Peter Hicks in his studio. Picture: Tony Bartholomew.
Artist Peter Hicks in his studio. Picture: Tony Bartholomew.

The Inspired by… gallery, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2017, hosts temporary exhibitions of work by contemporary artists and craftworkers who draw their inspiration from the landscape, life, light and colour of the North York Moors.

Peter Hicks: A Retrospective looks back over more than 60 years of work from an artist who has gained endless inspiration from the scenery and seasons of the Esk Valley, where he lives.

Peter Hicks' work.

Peter Hicks' work.

The exhibition can be seen at the gallery from Saturday September 9 to Monday October 16 and will be officially opened at 1.30pm on September 9 by Lady Marie-Noelle Worsley.

The show will feature almost 300 works from the 80-year-old artist’s long career, including the work he’s best known for – dramatic landscapes of the North York Moors National Park.

Sixty drawings will give insight into how his work develops, and the work will range in scale from 80 postcard-sized paintings to huge canvases. The earliest work dates from 1956 and is a portrait of sunflowers outside Peter’s first studio – his father’s converted garage.

There will also be a sunset painted as part of Peter’s degree show when he went back to college in the 1980s to study for an MA – the first in a series of seven paintings depicting a walk through the night, from dusk till dawn, through Fryupdale in the North York Moors National Park. The story of the hospital ship Rohilla, which ran aground near Whiby in 1914 with the loss of 83 lives, has inspired another set of paintings in the exhibition.

Peter, who was born in East Yorkshire, but moved to the Esk Valley as a young child and has spent most of his life there, says the exhibition represents a lifetime of self-discovery as an artist.

“I revisit childhood thoughts and experiences and realise how important they are to my work. I’d be playing with my friends and would suddenly see, on a sunny day, how a mist would rise up and suck the colour from the surroundings. Those memories were logged and revisited much later in life, and that’s what I’ve continually done – visit and revisit things in this valley that have meaning and purpose.”

On September 23, from 2pm to 4pm, Peter will be interviewed at the gallery by photographer Joe Cornish. Tickets £5, visit https://northyorkmoors-peterhicks.eventbrite.co.uk