November 2016 — August 2018
Norman Ackroyd: The Furthest Lands
Norman Ackroyd RA (b. 1938) is a British artist working in London. The etchings on display in this exhibition showcase Norman Ackroyd’s investigation of the coastline of Ireland and Scotland. They offer viewers the opportunity to witness the beauty of the archipelago of St Kilda, the remotest part of Britain and the Stags of Broadhaven located off the north-west coast of Ireland, which rise to almost one hundred metres above sea level.
Ackroyd studied at Leeds College of Art (1956-1961) and the Royal College of Art, London (1961–64) where he studied under Julian Trevelyan. Ackroyd then lived in the United States before returning to London and taking up the post of Professor of Etching at the University of the Arts. In 1991, Norman Ackroyd was elected a Royal Academician and in 2000, made Senior Fellow, Royal College of Art.
The exploration of landscapes is a recurrent theme in Ackroyd’s work. He has sketched on boats sailing around the coast of Ireland, captured the beauty of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and the Norfolk coastline at Blakeney and Holkham.
Over the course of his career, Norman Ackroyd has received several public mural commissions, produced in etched stainless steel or bronze. Recent commissions include murals for the Main Hall of the British Embassy, Moscow; the Sainsbury Laboratory at Cambridge University depicting the Galapagos Islands; and for the headquarters of Lazards Bank at Green Park, London.
In 2013, Norman Ackroyd was featured in the BBC series What do artists do all day? His work is held in many public collections including Tate, London; the British Council Collection; Arts Council Collection, London and British Museum, London.
All the works on display have been generously gifted to the Charity’s art collection by the artist. The display is accompanied by a map The Furthest Lands: A Journey to the Western Shores designed by Norman Ackroyd. The map shows all the locations, of the works on display, where Norman Ackroyd has sketched. The artworks have since found a permanent home in the Western Eye Hospital (shown above) where they have proven popular among visitors.
The Charity are extremely grateful for the generosity Norman Ackroyd has shown in realising this exhibition and the donation of his works.He writes: ‘Art in hospitals is a profound and wonderful initiative. London hospitals have for a long time subscribed to the idea that Art can be calming, sustaining and enlightening to both patients and visitors. I am honoured to have been asked to add to this important collection with a body of work produced on the extreme edges of our Islands.’