Piers – RG Founder
Fred Ingrams, RG friend and local painter, has spent the last seven years painting The Fens, perhaps the least loved landscape in Britain! The Fens are notorious for their flatness, vast skies and sheer sense of space. Fred discovered the ‘odd’ bit of landscape to the south of King’s Lynn while scouting the area on Google Earth after relocating to Norfolk in 1998.
I’m a huge fan of his work and recently collected a stunning piece of artwork for my Barn. He has converted two stables into a bright, white, warm studio which I was thrilled to be given a tour of when my wife and I went to collect our painting. Below, Fred shares some of the inspiration behind his work:
“For some reason the flatness of this huge area of Eastern England does not capture the heart. It is a landscape that does not fit into the ideal of a rolling “green and pleasant land”. They are, on the other hand as flat as a billiard table and to most people, featureless and grim. It is an industrial landscape reclaimed from the sea by Vermuyden and Bedford filled with rows of regimented crops growing in the black soil. The wind blows from the east and is cold and nagging. The people who live there appear, like the wind, cold and unfriendly. It is for all these reasons I feel so at home painting in the Fens.
As I sit and paint here, I am always struck by how few people inhabit this place. I am nearly always alone. The only sounds are distant tractors, the calls of lapwings, warblers and the cry of Marsh Harriers. It seems that peoples fear of flatness keeps the Fens empty. Flatness also changes everything when you look into the distance. Distances becomes hard to judge and perspective seems altered from the normal making it like no other place in Britain. It is this flatness that protects the Fens and makes it one of the best kept secrets of our landscape. It is place full of strange stories, myths, strange place names and strange people. It is a landscape that is on the outside of a world that exists beyond the horizon.”