'Countless Eden's': Painting and Literature from the Eastern Region
Researcher: Mark Edwards
'Countless Eden’s’ is a new body of work, made over the course of three years, in the house and garden of the writer Ronald Blythe. Both house and garden were formally the house of Blythe’s close friend, the painter John Nash. Currently comprising of seventeen colour photographs, including eight interiors, ‘Countless Eden’s’ draws upon the rich English landscape traditions of both literature and painting.
The pictures depict a garden that was initially planted by Nash when he first moved to Suffolk in the mid-forties. The garden was established in order to supply source material for both his paintings and illustrations. Nash bequeathed the house, situated on the Suffolk/Essex boarder, to his close friend, in 1974. Blythe has lived there since, and continues to cultivate and attend to the garden. This intimate space, and the landscape beyond, forms the fulcrum to much of his writing.
My pictures extend this discourse and when viewed as a body of work the photographs contribute to the work of both writer and painter in a response to place and history.
The work was externally funded by an Arts Council grant and sponsored by Metro Imaging London. The work is to be both exhibited and published.
This series of work feeds into a body of PhD research based on landscape, specifically painting and literature from the Eastern region within the context of personal praxis. Additional contributing work to this inquiry into the landscape has recently been published in the V&A book Into the Woods: Trees in Photography (Thames & Hudson).