BEACHY HEAD: GULL OVER CHASM
Oil on canvas laid on board
Painted in 1972.
Jeffery Camp RA (British b.1923)
Jeffrey Camp was born at Oulton Broad, Suffolk. He studied at Ipswich School of Art before moving to Edinburgh College of Art in 1941 where he studied under William Gillies. He returned to Suffolk in 1944, to paint the bitter East Anglian coastline: “Fishing life was more dangerous that mining”. He was awarded an Andrew Grant Travelling Scholarship in 1944 and 1945, and a David Murray Bursary for landscape painting in 1946. Camp went on to teach at Chelsea School of Art from 1960 to 1961 and at the Slade School of Art from 1963 to 1988. In the late 1960s Camp moved to Hastings in Sussex. Nearby he discovered Beachy Head, which became a recurring subject in his work.
Camp’s first solo-exhibitions were held at the Beaux Arts Gallery, London in 1959, 1961 and 1963. Subsequent solo shows were held at New Art Centre, London (1968), a retrospective at the South London Art Gallery (1973), Serpentine Gallery (1978), Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London (1986 and 1990) and several shows from 1984 with Browse & Darby, London.
Camp was elected a Member of the London Group in 1961. He was a Phillips Prizewinner in 1965 and in 1996 won the Wollaston Award for the most distinguished work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Camp wrote Draw and Paint (1981, 1986, Dorling Kindersley). He was elected Royal Academician in 1984 (ARA 1974) and lives and works in London.
By this time he had his first solo show at the Beaux Arts, Gallery (1959), his preoccupations were unmistakable: the possession of a particular landscape, a landscape of horizons and meeting points, where land meets sea, sea meets sky. In 1963 his marriage to a half-Chinese painter, Laetitia Yhap, defined the focus further: the meeting of finite and infinite, limits and limitlessness, as her Chinese features are explored against the precipitous chalk-face on the South Coast of England at Beachy Head, famous both as a beauty and suicide spot.
In 1982 Camp brought out a widely acclaimed book Draw, which emphasised his status as a phenomenal draughtsman. “Drawing can open the door and raise that useful extra eyelid which, like that possessed by certain lizards, is in humans the inhibiting, cribbed, confining, narrow-browed, vertical thinking curtain eyelid of conformity”.
Camp was elected a Royal Academician in 1983 and had a major retrospective at the Royal Academy, London in 1988.
Recent solo exhibitions
2006 Long & Ryle, London
2005 Michael Richardson Art Space Gallery, London
2002 Art Space Gallery, London
2001 Browse & Darby, London
1999 Flowers East, London
1997 Browse & Darby, London
1993 Browse & Darby, London
1990 Nigel Greenwood Gallery, London
Arts Council of Great Britain
City Art Gallery, Bradford
The British Council
Contemporary Art Society
Cornwall Education Department
Department of the Environment
Fermoy Art Gallery, Kings Lynn
Gloucestershire Education Department
University of London
Manchester Education Department
Norfolk Contemporary Art Society
Norwich Castle Museum
University of Nottingham
The Nuffield Organisation
Suffolk Education Department
Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne
Harris Museum and Art Gallery
Royal Academy of Arts
This post was written by joecollinson