Text by James Russell.
‘The scene depicting the holly hedges and boxy church of St. Mary depicted in Wet Afternoon remains much the same today. Inevitably our eyes are drawn to the figure striding down the hill away from us. Is he simply a passer-by? Or a kind of self-portrait of the artist-as-solitary-walker? Or an invention? Ravilious had read Edward Thomas and W. H. Hudson, and Gilbert White was one of his favourite writers. He illustrated The Natural History of Selbourne with wood engravings and had a lot in common with the ever-curious antiquarian and naturalist. So perhaps we should think of this rambler as a curious explorer of the byways, in search of everyday wonders.’
James Russell is an art historian, curator and author with a special interest in 20th/21st century British artists, and has published a number of books on the art of Eric Ravilious, including Ravilious, Ravilious in Pictures 1: Sussex and the Downs, Ravilious in Pictures 2: The War Paintings, Ravilious in Pictures 3: A Country Life, Ravilious in Pictures 4: A Travelling Artist, and Ravilious: Submarine, the last five of which are published by the Mainstone Press. James can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and also presides over a rather good blog.
‘Wet Afternoon’ is included in Ravilious Collection Pt.1.