John Henshaw


Friday 18 - Wednesday 23 August 2017
10 am - 5 pm

Opening View: Friday 18 August, 6 - 8 pm
Admission free



Exuberant cityscapes, seascapes and landscapes from places as different and far apart as New York, Palma and Berlin.

They are the work of the Middlesbrough-born artist John Henshaw, who has moved to South Devon from Wiltshire to continue a painting career he has woven in and out of a working life in film making, animation, illustration and university lecturing. The threads combine in large and small paintings in oils, acrylics, inks and watercolour, based on a lifelong journal of sketchbook improvisations – all illuminating a continuous, more personal narrative.

Among John Henshaw’s private collectors is the poet and translator George Szirtes who has written about his ‘quite un-British terrain of rich, bold, flat colour, high pattern, and a trust in fiercely instinctive drawing in response to landscape, events and written text.

'Intensity of feeling is everywhere evident as if the power of it were on the point of breaking up the images to which the drawings or paintings refer.’

John Henshaw has exhibited widely since graduating from Leeds Polytechnic in the early 1970s. His prizes have included a Southern Arts Major Bursary, a Mendelson Art Award and an Oppenheimer Award. His work is in public and private collections including the Fritz Perls Institute for Psychotherapy, Mainz, Southern Arts, Dartington Hall and Lord Bath's Wessex Collection at Longleat.

‘I’m thrilled to be living in Devon. I know it quite well from a period a few years ago when I helped to give a visual identity to the work of one of Dartington Hall’s social care organisations, Research in Practice. I also made a series of illustrations for Guy Watson when he was building his Riverford empire and developing his brand. To survive you have to learn to be versatile! This exhibition is about ideas much closer to my heart – and about laying the foundations for a new life here.’

The title ‘Beyond –scapes’ echoes George Szirtes’s hunch about the collision in Henshaw’s painting between powerful feeling and the natural world – one that blurs the difference between what we see and what we sense.