We just received this invitation card in the post for an exhibition at the Crane Kalman Gallery, Land by Liam Hanley. I’m intrigued. I don’t know his work but I feel I should. I like the look of these images on the card. They invite a closer look.
Then I read – It is all based on a few thousand acres just south of Royston and a few yards east of the A10. I have known these fields since 1970 – they have made many shows for me. I like the land – shaped by the Ice Age Great Surge – in mid-August when the crops have been cut and the fields ploughed and harrowed. It is as though the soil has been combed. At this time it is quite an experience to walk across the ‘floor’ of the land, the sky like a great dome overhead. When the crops are cut the level of the landscape we see drops by about two feet. So in August we get the bone structure of the place. It is very peaceful.
And I realise that I know this land too. We’ve often walked near here in Hertfordshire, by Ashwell and Much Hadham and Buntingford, over chalky fields and found flints turned up by the plough, sometimes with a hole right through like a Henry Moore maquette, and like Half Moon Wood above.