Abbeys inspire artist’s show

Detail from a picture of Fountains Abbey by John Grant.
Detail from a picture of Fountains Abbey by John Grant.

An internationally renowned Yorkshire artist is returning home to exhibit a series of paintings of abbeys from across the county that have captivated him for more than 60 years.

John Grant, whose work has been exhibited across the UK and Europe, says he has been constantly drawn back to Yorkshire by the romance of abbeys like Fountains, Rievaulx and Jervaulx.

“Any Yorkshireman is going to say this is God’s own county, but for me the abbeys we have here are truly some of the most inspirational ruins I have seen.”

The National Trust is showing John’s new work at Fountains Hall, Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, and John has spent the last 18 months working on his distinctive and evocative paintings in readiness for this latest exhibition.

John’s long fascination with the abbeys began when he was a boy and went on a day trip to Fountains Abbey.

“My earliest memory was visiting in about 1950 with my great uncle Angus in a little car with an open back seat. We parked in the car park by Fountains Hall and had a picnic of egg sandwiches and a flask of tea near the little bridge,” said artist and print-maker John, who grew up in Nidderdale.

– John Grant’s exhibition ‘A Romantic View – An interpretation of the Abbey’ is at Fountains Hall from Saturday May 23 to Friday June 5, from 11am to 4.30pm.