The Green Knight Arrives

The Green Knight's Head Lives screen print by Clive Hicks-Jenkins

I recently returned from a quick visit to Wales to meet up with the artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins. The trip marked a year since I was first introduced to Clive by Sarah Parvin and it's a testimony to Clive's good nature and spirit of adventure that we have managed to achieve so much in such a short space of time.

Having undertaken this journey on more than one occasion since we first met, I feel that I could complete the four hour trip with my eyes closed. However, this would leave me oblivious to the glorious landscape that my journey cuts through. After the hustle and bustle of the studio, I look forward to this drive. As the road meanders its way through the glorious hills and valleys, the landscape does wonders for the spirit.

On this occasion we met at MoMA Machynlleth in order to see the exhibition 'Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape' curated by Peter Wakelin. The show takes in work from Turner, through Piper and Sutherland to contemporary artist like Ed Kluz and Clive himself. It's a wonderful collection of work with some real gems. My favourites were the delicate yet obsessively worked pen and ink drawing by David Jones and the Samuel Palmer influenced 'Reaper with Mushroom' by John Craxton.  

While we met Clive also complete the signing of his new print The Green Knight Arrives. The second in a series of fourteen prints based on the poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight the print marks the Knight's arrival into the halls of Camelot. James Russell, who has written a specially commissioned piece to accompany the release, describes Clive's depiction of the Green Knight as "a modern primitive, whose identity is etched into his skin. Clive looks beyond the poetry to explore the character and cultural implications of Gawain’s nemesis, in an intense portrait of mingled power and vulnerability."

Having completed the signing of the edition, I collected the prints and headed back to Yorkshire. Unlike the glorious sunshine that graced the morning's journey, the trip back was undertaken in a torrential downpour of biblical proportions. Oh well, you can't have it all.

The Green Knight Arrives is available now. Click on Clive's name from the main menu and read more of James Russell's specially commissioned text.

'Romanticism in the Welsh Landscape' can be seen at MoMA Machynlleth until 18th June.