‘A LIFE IN THE LANDSCAPE’
What is work for? - If it is to get the job done,
then indeed get a chain saw.
If, however, it is to connect with Nature
- to know the tree and the rhythms it asks of our bodies -
then let’s use our hands, our arms, our feet, our lungs. Michael Buck, 2022
You work that you may keep pace with the Earth,
and the Soul of the Earth.
For to be idle, is to become a stranger to the Seasons.
When you work, you are a flute through whose heart,
the whispering of the hours turns to music. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, 1922
Michael Buck trained in Fine Art at The Ruskin School of Art, Oxford (1975-78). He is a painter of many years, but also an ecologist, and ‘green’ is at the heart of the matter for him as both artist and farmer. The two are inextricably linked with one discipline feeding the other. With mornings spent in the studio, and afternoons on the land, he is creator of cob houses from earth, clay and wood, coppicing hazel and fencing whilst raising geese and cattle. Michael Buck’s art is in the living – it is authentic and organic in both spirit and essence.
This collection of paintings provides an insight into his world - thunderous gun metal skies over sunlight grasses whilst scything hay; trees bare in winter against a muddy sky towards Wytham; the changing contours of the land, and the quiet of horses on Port Meadow, their tails skirting around their legs in the wind. Larger works celebrate the aerobatics of a cloud of rooks, black above quilted fields and hedgerows in a spectrum of greens, soft in the morning mist. Small works are painterly and fluent, vignettes of older times observed and captured ‘en plein air’. Michael Buck makes a stand for a return to synchronicity, at one with the elements and the rhythms of the Earth, a life truly lived in the landscape. Text Jenny Blyth © 2022