Ben Hartley – Notebooks of Paris
Limited edition Prints £190 – £240
Ben Hartley (1933-1996) was one of the most outstanding artists to have lived in Devon in recent years. His subject matter was country life, a common enough theme, but one which he made his own through his unique brand of humour and his gifts as a colourist.
Originally from the Peak District, he spent twenty-three years in this part of the world. He taught as a part timer at Plymouth College of Art from 1960 until cuts affected all art schools in the late 70’s. From 1961 he lived in the village of Ermington, until 1983 when ill health forced him to move to Wales to live near relatives in the Border Marches.
For twenty-two years the life of the village of Ermington, the nearby farms and the surrounding countryside had provided his inspiration, recorded in hundreds of paintings and the notebooks that had been a lifetime’s occupation.
He bequeathed all his work to Bernard Samuels, former Director of Plymouth Arts Centre. Since receiving the bequest 1996, he has organized many exhibitions and published two books, Ben Hartley, a survey of the paintings and related drawings and Pigs Must Eat on Sundays, a delightful compilation from the notebooks from the mid 1960’s.
For his most recent project he has brought out a set of facsimile prints of images from a notebook recording a visit Ben Hartley made to Paris during his student years in the early 1950’s.