Exhibition

The Prospect of Happiness

Exhibition preview now open

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Burgh House in May, architectural portrait by Liz MathewsDSC_0746
Burgh House in May, architectural portrait in terracotta by Liz Mathews
The Prospect of Happiness: Architectural Portraits and Word-landscapes
by lettering artist and studio potter Liz Mathews

This exhibition was scheduled to open at Burgh House in Hampstead, London, on 6th May 2020, but has been postponed due to the lockdown.

Private View live HERE from 7th May 2020 onwards

Please pour the relaxing drink of your choice and join us on an exhibition tour with the inside story of each work.

The exhibition draws together portraits of London both literal and figurative: Liz’s miniature architectural portraits in clay and paper of special London houses (including Burgh House itself, Fenton House and 2 Willow Road, Keats House and Kenwood, as well as fascinating private houses such as a perfect Arts and Crafts semi, Charles Lamb’s house and the artist’s own house Potters’ Yard) all set in the landscape of the imagination, with pots, artist’s books and paperworks giving a window onto London views in words by writers from Blake to Virginia Woolf.

The Prospect of Happiness, text by Frances Bingham, paperwork by Liz Mathews DSC_0430
The Prospect of Happiness (text by Frances Bingham) paperwork on handmade paper by Liz Mathews

The ‘prospect of happiness’ in the title is the view from the top of Hampstead Heath across London to the Surrey hills beyond, in Frances Bingham’s novel The Principle of Camouflage – one of the word-landscapes in the show. In others, Virginia Woolf visits Kenwood and the Heath, and takes a bus along Tufnell Park Road on her way to see her friend Roger Fry in Huddlestone Road – she also bravely crosses Blackfriars Bridge by night. We catch a glimpse of Constable, Keats and Dr Johnson all doing their thing locally, and visit Persian plane trees in London with Handel and Mimi Khalvati. Words flow around Maureen Duffy in the old round Reading Room of the British Museum, and bring her a starlit vision of the city floating on the Thames. Blake celebrates ‘The fields from Islington to Marybone’, and Winifred Nicholson sees the view through a rainbow prism of harmony and hope.


Blake's London, text by William Blake, paperwork by Liz MathewsDSC_0498
Blake’s London (text by William Blake from Jerusalem, drawing of Euston Arch from contemporary photograph) paperwork by Liz Mathews

The Prospect of Happiness celebrates interconnected aspects of a multi-faceted London through the eyes of those who love it. The exhibition has turned into a work-in-progress and Liz will continue to add portraits and paperworks until the rescheduled show at Burgh House next spring on 14 – 25 April 2021.

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