It has been inspiring music, art and literature for goodness knows how long, and there really is nothing quite like the English countryside – especially when the sun is out. This blessed plot is a green and pleasant land indeed, and Chester-born artist Richard Woods is the latest to come over all inspired by the English countryside with a new collection entitled Country Life.
Woods was responding to an invitation from Michael Hue-Williams of Albion Barn, a restored property in the bucolic location of Little Milton, near Oxford. The humorous collection was conceived to respond to the venue, and it includes site-specific installations such as a series of stylised tree stumps, sculptural garden furniture, and his interpretations of traditional country buildings. A host of paintings capture the essence of the countryside’s flora and fauna, with printed animals partly camouflaged in black-and-white against the colourful foliage, peeking out from behind leaves and grass. Whole walls of the barn have been turned into flowered meadows and dense thickets by floor-to-ceiling graphics, and outside Woods has designed a new tennis pavilion along with bird tables and a semi-permanent building supporting a four metre Victorian mantelpiece clock. The Albion Barn is open on Thursdays and Fridays by appointment.