The Paintings of Ivor John Powell

The vision of a border Welshman

Landscape, North Devon by Ivor Powell

25. Landscape, North Devon

39.5 x 49.5cm. Daler Board with new frame

NLW(PG 5871)

Ivor wrote the title on the reverse. This is, in some ways, a sequel to his donkey studies. He used the same device of an animal looking at the viewer, and it has the same effect of drawing us into the composition. By the late 60s he was making visits to North Devon (where a branch of the family had settled), and this carefully crafted landscape resulted from one of them. The solitary horse was surely deliberately chosen (in no other painting did he restrict himself to one animal unless it was to totally dominate the composition), as was, it seems, the church, which is without decoration or openings of any kind. There is an air of loneliness or desertion about this landscape. While the road and pavement in the foreground show that modern life has asserted itself, the landscape beyond the gate seems ignored by it. The horse, however, seems there to stop us, to challenge us, and draw us in. His choice of colours adds to the sad and haunting character of this painting.

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