Since the site fully opened to the public as a major, nationally accredited art gallery in 2004, Compton Verney has achieved a huge level of success. Housing six permanent collections, the much-praised venue offers an art programme delivering both historic and contemporary shows, designed to appeal to a wide audience. 

Words by Evie Kissack

Set in 120 acres of Grade II listed parkland, designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the landscape is as breath-taking as it is functional. An on-going extensive replanting and maintenance programme continues to enhance the picturesque nature of the park, emphasizing both the beauty of the ornamental lake and chapel. Visit Compton Verney now for your last chance to see the sensational seasonal exhibitions, ending 17th Dec 2017.

On arrival to the art gallery and park, the natural beauty of the landscape instantly took me aback. Nestled among Cedars of Lebanon, the grand house peeped through luscious leaves touched with frost, surrounded by a glistening lake. As I walked along the graveled path to the venue, I gazed over fields full of grazing sheep and took in the fresh winter air. The exhibitions themselves were absolutely wonderful, and I happened to luckily stumble upon a tour as I began The Lost Words exhibition, meaning I was able to find out some interesting facts about the curators and artists as I explored the rooms. The staff delivering the exhibition tours were absolutely fantastic; being both eager to answer questions and extremely knowledgeable about the artwork itself.

The Lost Words – Robert Mcfarlane and Jackie Morris (open until 17th Dec 2017)

Combining the creative talents of writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, the enchanting exhibition explores the relationship between language and the living world and nature’s ability to spark the imagination. 

Robert’s spell-poems invoke a sense of the natural world inside, accompanied by Jackie’s incredibly intricate artworks. The exhibition fuses iridescent watercolours with magical words in response to the gradual disappearance of nature from children’s stories and imaginations. 

In an ever-evolving climate of technological advancement, the exhibition is a breath of fresh air, giving life once again to forgotten natural worlds in the 21st century. The Lost Words experience encourages children and adults to explore the themes of the exhibition in the incredible land that surrounds the gallery. The exhibition is accompanied by a project entitled The Spell Walks, a series of digital trails that can be downloaded straight to visitors’ smart phones. The trails, created by Christopher Jelley (of Storywalks), aim to allow visitors to experience the words and images of The Lost Word as how they appear in nature. 


"The exhibition fuses iridescent watercolours with magical words in response to the gradual disappearance
of nature from children’s stories and imaginations."

Beautifully connecting nature with the imagination and digital technology, The Lost Words is a fantastic visit for families and people of all ages. Discover the blend of the outside world with the inside, and familiarise yourself with words and images that have been slightly lost from our collective imagination. 

 

Quentin Blake: Inside Stories – Quentin Blake (open until 17th Dec 2017)

 

This exhibition, for me, was a completely magical experience – I would go so far to say it is among the greatest exhibitions I have ever visited. This is due to a couple of factors; the first being the meticulous thought and planning behind the overall design of the exhibition. The second reason is my personal love for the illustrator, having grown up reading Roald Dahl’s renowned collection of children’s stories. Seeing original drawings of the BFG, and the experiments of colour for The Twit’s coats was both awe-inspiring and bitter-sweetly nostalgic.

Starting with a description of Quentin Blake’s art and his swelling list of professional credits, the exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the various publications the illustrator has worked on throughout his celebrated career. From humorous and heart-felt collaborations with David Walliams, to capturing the beautiful anatomy of loss in Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, the exhibition includes over 140 original works of the nation’s best-loved artist. Each piece is accompanied with a personal commentary from Blake, bringing his scrawled notes on sketchbook pages to life. 

An absolute treat for all Quentin Blake fans, the exhibition is both intimate and revealing, looking into the life and mind of the unrivalled artist. 

"From humorous and heart-felt collaborations with David Walliams,
to capturing the beautiful anatomy of loss in Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, the exhibition includes over
140 original works of the nation’s best-loved artist."

Both exhibitions are connected by the theme of bringing literature to life, encouraging young visitors to engage in drawing, writing and using their imaginations to the full. 

Open Tuesday to Friday 11am – 4pm, and 11am – 5pm on weekends, the exhibitions are available to visit until mid-December. To make sure you don’t miss out, book in advance online now. 

Compton Verney Website

01926 645500

Compton Verney

Warwickshire

CV35 9HZ

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