To be exhibited in the Friends Room at London’s Hellenic Centre in Paddington and featuring over 25 works, from small pleinair studies to ambitious studio based canvases.
Royal Academy Schools trained Toby Wiggins RP is renowned for his highly-regarded portraiture. He has won awards including the BP Travel Award (NPG), the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize for Figurative Painting and the Prince of Wales Drawing Award. His interest in landscape has spread from his native Dorset to this most austere, but compelling landscape of ‘Mani’, one of the wildest and most remote corners of Greece.
In October 2017 Toby embarked on an adventurous trek over mountains and across arid plains to the sound of gun shot in the mornings and howling jackals by night. He literally retraced the path taken by one of the 20th centuries leading travel writers ‘Paddy’ Leigh Fermor, who in 1951 walked the peninsula and later published his seminal work ‘Mani’. After his own odyssey, Toby returned home with a rucksack full of tiny oil studies of the places described by ‘Paddy’ and in his studio he used these studies to make larger paintings, about which he says: “...they are an attempt to translate the sensation of being there, the texture of this harsh land; iron-like outcrops and intense blue skies. Then there are those moments when the harshness is transformed by intense, luminous colour into something altogether ethereal.”
Profoundly influenced by Patrick Leigh Fermor (see ‘Charmed Lives’ British Museum 2018) and artist John Craxton, who illustrated Leigh Fermor’s books, the beguiling lure of this remote place, the southernmost tip of mainland Greece, is plain to see in the intense light, colours and textures that run through Toby’s works.