It is the earliest work in the show (May 19-July 28), completed during Piper’s (1903-92) posting as an official war artist. The acrylic on paper reflects his attraction to what he dubbed “decrepit glory” and “pleasing decay” and his interest in historic buildings of his native land.
As a participant in the ‘Recording Britain’ scheme during the Second World War, Piper was employed to depict the British landscape. The vulnerability of the country’s landmarks and history remained a fascination for him throughout his career.
He travelled widely around the British Isles depicting buildings from Caernarvon Castle to Blenheim Palace. By the height of his career, he was part of a growing body determined to protect England’s heritage.
Bohun Gallery in Henley-on-Thames has been staging biennial shows of Piper’s work since the 1970s, offering paintings and prints as well as tapestries, fabrics, furniture and ceramics which he designed.
The exhibition covers 50 years’ worth of his work including a mosaic dining table from c.1960, a silkscreen of Corton Church in Suffolk and a wool pile tapestry of Long Sutton in Lincolnshire.