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Landscape with Cottage by Jack Simcock

Given the preponderance of abstract works in this collection, figurative choices demonstrate key essential attitudes of liberal art education. In Simcock's case, the quietly persistent visual exploration of a particular place, its characteristics and their cultural determinants, and the harnessing of form to those ends were clearly seen as exemplary. In 1958 Jack Simcock, son of a miner, descended from a line of dissenting small farmers and farm labourers, bought West View, built originally for the businessman who had set up quarrying on the top of Mow Cop, a ridge of millstone grit between the Cheshire plain and the Staffordshire moorlands. Demand for millstones had led to prosperous quarrying as early as the 14th century, while traditional cottages were built from quarried or gathered rubble stone and developments from these reflected the activity of an extended family. Simcock focuses on these unassuming dwellings, accentuates the tonal bleakness of their settings, and manipulates the impasted paint in relation to the material being depicted, coarse grass, dry stone wall or the roughly coursed material of the cottages. A significant relationship between locale, motif and painting practice was clearly being sought from within the bounds of topographical representation.
Artist:Jack Simcock
Artwork type:painting
Material:oil on board
Measurements:457 x 762 mm
Location:Arts & Humanities Research Council, Whitefriars, Lewins Mead, Bristol, BS1 2AE. View by appointment; please contact the AHRC's Facilities Manager on 01179 876 500
Rights owner:Jack Simcock
Rights status:UK HE use only
Institution:Council for National Academic Awards

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