‘Conversation With Ruskin’ Hideyuki Sobue

8 August – 17 November 2019

Japanese/English Lake District artist Hideyuki Sobue will create a portrait installation of John Ruskin calling forth his love of nature, his spirituality and the conflicting sensitivities of this visionary man.

2019 is the 200th anniversary of John Ruskin’s birth. An artist, art critique, writer, social thinker, the Oxford professor founded the Ruskin School of Drawing, Ruskin was known as the first critique to find Turner’s innovative painting style and established his name, led the Gothic Revival, provided the ideological foundation for the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts and Crafts Movement. He was one of the most influential figures in Victorian England. For celebrating his legacy, Hideyuki has organised his touring solo art project “Conversation with Ruskin” at the Brantwood, where Ruskin chose to live in his later years, and The Ruskin in Lancaster University, the academic centre of Ruskin. This project is supported by Arts Council England.

Hideyuki was drawn to creating a new method of brush hatching technique using Japanese sumi ink and acrylic. The body of work, hence consists of “oriented lines”. This is also inspired by the concept of disegno, the aesthetic approach based on drawing established at the Florentine school in the early Renaissance period. The use of Japanese sumi ink, which was propagated from ancient China, and which Japanese people adopted as the unique style of ink painting called “Sumi-e” (Hasegawa Tohaku is reckoned to be the best of all), is the key element of my practice, which aims to bridge East and West by sampling the rich cultural, artistic and ideological heritage of both.

My aim is to explore the unbroken line of the relationship between humanity and art from the primeval times, to look into the origin of human creativity by enquiring about its meaning in a contemporary context, and to sublimate the conception into my own visual language. In this way, I’m exploring alternative expression by means of the core creative activity of humanity, i.e. drawing and painting through delving into the human act of seeing, so that my work raises questions regarding the mystery and dignity of humanity, the potential of painting and drawing among numerous artistic expressions, and how to bridge East and West, with their great heritage and contemporary understanding.


Further information:
  • Open daily 10.30 am to 5.00 pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays during mid November to mid March, as well as Christmas & Boxing day
  • Admission is included in the house & garden ticket- £8.70 for adults, £7.00 for students and free for children (16 and under); Admission to the gardens only is £6.20 for adults £5.00 for students and free for children (16 and under).
  • Location Brantwood, Coniston,  Cumbria  LA21 8AD
  • For more information please call  015394 41396; email: enquiries@brantwood.org.uk