ARTISTS Peter Hicks, Beverley Hicks and Phoebe Scott who are collectively grandfather, mother and daughter, show how three generations of one family are seeing the Yorkshire Dales landscape in a new special exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. Yorkshire Dales National Park media officer Andrew Fagg takes a look.



THE exhibition ‘Reflections and Connections’ features watercolours by Peter Hicks a landscape painter of North Yorkshire.

His daughter, Beverley Hicks, who is head of art at Skipton Girls’ High School, is showing her abstract paintings. A blog post published on the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority website has two photographs of landscape features of Malhamdale, which she used to inspire her paintings.

Also included in the exhibition, which opened in September, are works in metal and stained glass by Beverley's daughter Phoebe who is currently studying at Newcastle University. Phoebe’s work is inspired by the built and cultural heritage of the Dales.

Derek Twine, the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority's member champion for promoting understanding - the national park Dales Countryside Museum - said: “This is a very special exhibition by artists who are living in Yorkshire’s National Parks; Beverley in Airton, where Phoebe grew up, and Peter who lives in the North York Moors, but often paints in the Yorkshire Dales. “It was noted at the exhibition opening that locals are used to coming across Peter ‘in the middle of nowhere with his sketchbook’, at Malham Tarn, Settle tops, Gordale, or at the riverside in Airton. Beverley’s interpretation of the landscape is a reflection of her deep connection with it, while Phoebe herself has said her work is inspired by her family and growing up in North Yorkshire. So this is an exhibition deeply rooted in the landscape of the National Park.”

I caught a word with Beverley Hicks at the opening of the ‘Connections and Reflections’ exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum.

Were her abstract paintings about people or purely about her engagement with landscape?

She said: “I think it really is about engagement with landscape. But inevitably it’s about me, and it’s a reflection of me. It’s a way that I can communicate with people probably better than I can in any other way.

Beverley uses a lot of circles in her work. She explained: “It’s not a bad thing to look back and take the best things of what you’ve done in life, and use those. The circles came about when I won a scholarship to go to Australia and I looked at the dot paintings. That was where they came from. They [the circles] have always been somewhere in the paintings but I wanted to bring them back again [for this exhibition].

“For me the grids are a comforting way of responding to the landscape.”

It was only when I was back in the office that I saw the photographs she had taken of landscape features near her home in Airton, photos which had inspired her paintings.

These photographs are in themselves captivating.

The exhibition, ‘Reflections and Connections’, can be seen at the Dales Countryside Museum until December 31.