Wonderful free exhibition of new art inspired by nature at Cliffe Castle Museum

When Bridget Tempest met fellow artists JongHa Park and Sungsil Park from South Korea at the Camberwell School of Art in 1990, a friendship was born that has continued to this day and a pledge was also made.

The trio, who have all since found success as artists, promised each other that one day they would hold an exhibition together. The years passed by but now the agreement has been honoured and their exhibition “Within Nature - East meets West has opened at Cliff Castle in Keighley, which is part of Bradford District Museums and Galleries.

The benefit of exhibiting here is that historic Cliffe Castle offers free entry to all its treasures and its glorious gardens and for those who have never been, it is well worth a visit.

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East meets West features paintings and works on paper which brings together images from the two cultures, while sharing the same “natural world” theme.

Koi CarpKoi Carp
Koi Carp

South Korean artists JongHa Park and his now wife Sungsil Park will show paintings brought from their homeland, along with work created especially for this exhibition and these will sit by work by Bridget Tempest, who is based near Skipton.

Stretching across both floors of the striking Bracewell-Smith Hall at the centre of Cliffe Castle Museum, the exhibition will show artistic representations of nature from two cultures.

JongHa Park describes his abstract paintings thus: “My paintings express thoughts and feelings about the values and perceptions of “what is nature and who are humans?”

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He says: “I am interested in Taoism and Ki theory, which are Eastern natural philosophies, and I am also inspired by the Book of Genesis in the Bible. The important thing is 'here and now' and the idea that all things are connected by Ki (energy).

..............For Post Script..............STOCK..........
Cliffe Castle, Pavilion, Keighley, West Yorkshire. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer, James Hardisty. Date: 20th February 2023...............For Post Script..............STOCK..........
Cliffe Castle, Pavilion, Keighley, West Yorkshire. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer, James Hardisty. Date: 20th February 2023.
..............For Post Script..............STOCK.......... Cliffe Castle, Pavilion, Keighley, West Yorkshire. Picture By Yorkshire Post Photographer, James Hardisty. Date: 20th February 2023.

“The Eastern view of nature is that nature and humans are one, expressed differently, rather than being separated into different natural orders and beings.”

SungSil Park says of her work: “I.express my thoughts about the life of all beings, its circulation, change, and order, and ideas from Eastern Zen Buddhist philosophy and eco-centered ideology that nature and humans have one source.

"All the animals, plants, and various living things that I encounter in my daily life and the environment that makes them exist; the mountains and fields, are my subject. In other words, I feel that everyday life is already a miracle and my work has always been to paint what I see in a realistic style.”

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Bridget Tempest’s images are taken from her immediate surroundings and reflect her relationship with the land and her concerns about climate change. She says: “My images are drawn from nature. I work slowly, out in the woods, drawing directly onto large copper etching plates.

The Genesis series by JongHa ParkThe Genesis series by JongHa Park
The Genesis series by JongHa Park

“Slowly, so that I can pay attention to the rhythms of where I am and what I am seeing. Appreciating Nature’s harmony, I am dismayed by what we are still doing to the world.”

Curator Lowri Jones from Bradford Museums adds: “‘Exhibitions such as this, as well as being beautiful, allow us to reflect on the similarities and differences between cultures, increasing our understanding of each other.”

The exhibition is open from now until December 1, 2024, from Tuesday- Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday-Sunday 11am-4pm.

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