Making a Home in Nature: Tangled Pool, #9

by Ivon Hitchens

Ivon Hitchens was an English painter who started exhibiting during the 1920s. He became part of the 'London Group' of artists and exhibited with them during the 1930s. His house was bombed in 1940 during World War II, at which point he moved to a caravan on a patch of woodland near Petworth in West Sussex. He worked there for the next forty years, gradually augmenting his caravan with a series of buildings and a studio. He is particularly well known for panoramic landscape paintings created from blocks of colour.

TANGLED POOL, No. 9 (1946) by Ivon Hitchens (collection: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery)
Detail of TANGLED POOL, No. 9 (1946) by  Ivon Hitchens 

In Sussex, Hitchens dug shallow ponds around his house to reflect the pattern of trees and sky. Tangled Pool, No.9 , is the ninth in a series of ten landscapes with the same subject. Hitchens explained that the series began with a recognisable house and pool, but gradually he concentrated more on the pool; ‘with a tangle of foliage in front giving a play of dark and light and light on dark, in this case mostly the latter’.

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