The first solo exhibition of Jeffery Camp's works since his death and will focus on his Beachy Head paintings as well as his still life's of flowers.
Some People Dream a Lot is the first solo exhibition of renowned British artist Jeffery Camp’s works since his death last year and therefore the first posthumous celebration of an incredible painting life.
The exhibition, on show at Kestle Barton, Cornwall (19 June – 5 September 2021), seeks to find an analogy between two of the great leitmotifs of Camp’s oeuvre: the crumbling cliffs at Beachy Head and the fleeting beauty of cut flowers, not simply as memento mori, but as a joyful embrace of what it means to be alive. His playful invention, his virtuoso painting, his wit, desire, and at times sadness too, still breathe vitally through these paintings.
Camp spent nearly the entirety of his long life painting and it was landscape and the edges of it that were fundamental to his painting since the 1940s when he returned to his native Suffolk to paint the beaches at Pakefield. In the 1960s Camp found the epic chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, Sussex, and this landmark became the defining motif of his life’s work, dominating paintings for the next 50 years.
These vistas of Beachy Head are finely observed, specific places, and yet they often contain a sense of otherworldliness. Camp’s vertiginous, ancient clifftops rich with wildflowers and birds are so impossibly fresh that they must be glimpsed in a vision. Amorous couples loll among the grasses and are caressed by the light of the sun, lost in the reveries of eternal youth. These cliff edges are dreamt places, as well as spaces from where daydreams are conjured.
All of life is here. Lithe and languorous youths embrace and play as the restless sea slowly claims the crumbling cliff. The sensation that a sudden gust of wind might threaten to lift a body over the edge is tempered by the feeling that these bodies would only be carried weightlessly, entwined, up into thepale blue sky. These are paintings of long epochs and of fleeting moments.