The Art of Buckler’s Hard exhibition to open

An art exhibition inspired by Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year semi-finalists’ paintings of Buckler’s Hard will open soon in the maritime village.

The Art of Buckler’s Hard exhibition will feature the paintings they created, which will be on sale, as well as artworks from the Montagu family collection. The free exhibition will open from March 16 – November 3 in the Shipyard Office.

To celebrate the opening, amateur and professional artists will be invited to enter a competition with their own artworks of the beautiful village on the banks of the Beaulieu River.

Seven semi-finalists competing for the Landscape Artist of the Year title were recently tasked with capturing the natural charm of Buckler’s Hard, as well as its rich maritime history. They followed in the footsteps of famous artists throughout the centuries, who have been drawn to the historic village where ships for Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar were built.

Bucker’s Hard Director, the Hon. Mary Montagu-Scott said: “We have gathered artwork, which has been tucked away in drawers, our archives and family homes, for this new exhibition. We are excited to see it come together in one place, together with works by New Forest artists and Landscape Artist of the Year semi-finalists which showcase the beauty and maritime history of Buckler’s Hard.”  

Montagu family collection

Family collection pieces include official Admiralty artist Richard Eurich’s oil painting of a firework display to welcome Sir Francis Chichester’s return in Gipsy Moth IV, after solo circumnavigating the globe. It contrasts with more nostalgic watercolours of the High Street by British artists Walter Tyndale (1855 – 1943) and Stanley Orchard (1920 – 2005).

Marine artist David Bell’s watercolour of HMS Euryalas and HMS Swiftsure on Buckler’s Hard launchways continues the nautical theme, while a more serene watercolour by Frank Southgate (1872 – 1916) captures the tranquillity of the village quay.

A pen and ink of the old Buckler’s Hard Museum entrance by Sixties illustrator Paul Sharp will be another exhibition highlight, together with works by renowned 18th century artist William Gilpin who travelled around Britain creating sketchbooks of an idealised picturesque landscape. Textiles will also be on show, including an embroidery using silk and cotton thread on linen, with applied watercolour, by Dora Josephine Kitching nee Pegler (1892 – 1976).

Coming more up-to-date, contemporary New Forest artist Barry Peckham’s colourful painting shows Buckler’s Hard from the water, while the sketchbook of Buckler’s Hard artist-in-residence and Jerwood Drawing Prize winner Paul Ryan will be displayed.

More artworks can be seen around the rest of the village in Buckler’s Hard Museum and St Mary’s Chapel, where Belinda, Lady Montagu’s altar frontal features the Tree of Life which represents the New Forest oaks used for shipbuilding at Buckler’s Hard.

Competition launch

Amateur artists and professionals will be invited to enter an art competition once the exhibition opens. Entrants can submit up to two paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures, ceramics and textiles under the themes of ‘Sailing by’, ‘Where time flows differently’ and ‘Step back in history’ for a chance to win prizes and awards.

The winners’ artwork will be displayed in the exhibition and visitors will be asked to vote for their favourites.

Visits to Buckler’s Hard

Visitors can enter Buckler’s Hard village for free and enjoy free access to the original Shipwright’s Cottage, St Mary’s Chapel and HMS Agamemnon – Navigating the Legendexhibition.

With an admission ticket to Buckler’s Hard Museum, discover more about the maritime history of the village and follow residents’ stories in the exhibition of village life.

Drop anchor for refreshments at The Captain’s Table or for a seasonal pub menu, call in at the Master Builder’s House in the former home of Buckler’s Hard’s 18th century Master Builder.

Buckler’s Hard, in the heart of the New Forest, is accessible by foot, car, motorbike – or boat! A parking charge contributes to the upkeep of the historic village. For more details see or call 01590 616203.

Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year semi-finals at Buckler’s Hard was aired on 21 February on Sky Arts, Freeview Channel 36 and the streaming service. The competition winner will be announced in the final episode on 28 February at 8pm

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