One of the most accomplished British artists of his generation, Jeffery Camp’s forthcoming exhibition, The Way to Beachy Head, at the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, marks the Royal Academician’s 90th year and celebrates a body of work inspired by the landscape of coastal Sussex.
Camp’s career has already spanned seven decades. Art critic, Andrew Lambirth describes his paintings and drawings as ‘remarkably generous statements about the world, full of love and sensuality and a singular appreciation of beauty’.
Camp’s works enjoy the interplay between the human form and the landscape. The figure can become one with nature in Camp’s paintings: the sensuous curves of the female body mirror the undulations of the sea and hills, creating a result that is sometimes erotic and, in his later works, increasingly dreamlike.
Speaking of the affinity of his work with the location of Jerwood Gallery, Camp said: “Almost as close to the sea as my cliff edge subject matter, the Jerwood Gallery has lovely rooms in which to show my pictures; the postcard image withstood almost a lifetime before dropping into the sea.
He added: “Ninety years and three art books have piled up. Learning in Edinburgh, teaching at The Slade, showing as an RA and at the Art Space Gallery in London, I feel greatly thankful.”
Jeffery Camp was born in Suffolk in 1923 and studied first at Lowestoft and Ipswich Schools of Art before moving to Edinburgh College of Art.
He went on to teach at the Chelsea School of Art (1960-61) and the Slade School of Art (1963-88). Camp was elected as a member of the London Group (1961), elected RA (1984), and won the Wollaston Award for the most distinguished work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (1996).
Camp’s preoccupation with landscape and the natural elements emerged during his early studies and has remained a constant source of inspiration throughout his career.
He moved to Hastings in the 1960s and over the next 30 years produced a vast body of work, painted often on characteristically unusual shaped boards and canvases, representing the dramatic landscape of the area.
Camp’s works focus on the beaches and chalk cliffs of the region; his interest in the place where land meets sea and sky is reflected in his paintings of Beachy Head, Seven Sisters and Hastings’ beach, which are featured in the exhibition.
The exhibition which evolved in partnership with Art Space Gallery, London, runs from July 20 until October 2.