22 June 2024

Welsh Marches garden attraction appoints new artist in residence

A popular Welsh Marches tourist attraction has appointed a new artist in residence for the ensuing season.


Chris Williams has already moved to a new studio at the 70-acre Hergest Croft Gardens in Kington, which has one of the finest collections of trees and shrubs in the British Isles and has been owned by five generations of the Banks family.


The estate has more than 130 ‘Champion Trees’, 5,000 rare trees, plants and shrubs together with National Collections of Maples, Birches and Zelkovas.


Originally from North Wales, Chris studied art at the Laird School of Art, Birkenhead and gained her Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Fine Art from Newcastle Polytechnic.


In the recent past, she has pursued a year-long post graduate level drawing course with the Royal Drawing School and joined others from the course to form a collective called Studio 22.


Primarily a landscape painter, she has exhibited at the RBSA, RWA and RCA and in galleries in Somerset and London. A former entrant on Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year in 2017, she recently completed a part funded artist residency at Stiwdio Maelor in Corris.


Chris’ work is based on observation and she likes to work outside whenever possible whether this is drawing or making plein air oil studies. This memory of this experience goes on to inform her studio paintings.


She is fascinated by natural forms, changing light, weather and the seasonal and daily rhythms of the landscape.


“We are absolutely thrilled and very excited about this appointment,” said Austyn Hallworth, head of marketing and public relations for Hergest Croft Gardens. “Chris will bring a huge depth of knowledge and experience to this role which can only continue to enhance and promote our stunning gardens.”


Chris will replace the incumbent Kathryn Moore, who has recently produced a beautifully illustrated book ‘A Brush with the Borders – An Artist’s year’. The unfolding seasons, drawn and painted in sketchbooks, depict the flora and fauna of the gardens, along with observations of natural history, discussions with the gardeners, historical research, poetry and artistic references.


The book, which is available from https://www.kathrynmoore.co.uk , provides a fascinating insight into the natural landscape of the gardens and their close observation by an artist who became even more attuned to shifting moods and seasonal changes.


Hergest Croft Gardens is a member of MWT Cymru (Mid Wales Tourism), which represents around 600 tourism and hospitality businesses and organisations across Powys, Ceredigion and Southern Snowdonia