Watercolour takes us back to the origins of watercolour in the form of medieval illumination and traces its history thereafter, showing how the increasing portability of the medium allowed artists to travel with their paints to far-flung regions, documenting what they saw, from new fauna and flora to on-the-spot recording of new landscapes and events. Before the advent of photography, watercolour was the medium of choice for eye-witness evidence. Acknowledging the association of watercolour with British artists such as William Blake, JMW Turner and Thomas Girtin, and examining it within a modern and contemporary context in the work of artists such as Patrick Heron and Tracey Emin, the show goes much further in presenting a medium which has long had a huge range and appeal; for amateurs and professionals, for show and for intimacy, for realistic representation and for hallucinatory or abstract creation.
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