Undiscovered Country is a very particular sort of landscape exhibition, focusing on a small corner of rural Dorset and the work that has been made there over nearly 60 years. There are 13 artists in all, beginning with John Craxton in 1941, aged just 19, but already beginning to find a distinctive voice. His "Cart Track" is one of the first things that one sees on entering the gallery and one of the best in the show, a dark, but oddly luminous picture of hedgerows rearing up across the Downs like Hokusai's Wave. It's a wonderful painting with a slightly surreal twist.
Craxton is the most celebrated of the artists in Undiscovered Country, but there are others worth looking at, not least E Q Nicholson (right), better known as a designer of textiles and sister-in-law of the famous Ben. There are signs of his influence in her drawing of Blackbush Down, but her sensitive paintings of landscape and still life are very much her own.
The chance to see Craxton's early work alongside EQ's is the chief pleasure of this exhibition, but it also provides a satisfying sense of continuity, not least through the work of EQ's son, Tim, who has inherited her strong feeling for this landscape and an eye for its strange zoomorphic qualities. He paints the Downs like slumbering animals, hovering on the edge of abstraction, but with a deep sense of the place itself - they are delightful pictures.
Undiscovered Country has been touring around the country and has just arrived at Brunel University's Beldam Gallery. Quite what a show about Dorset is doing in deepest Middlesex is anyone's guess. It's a bit of a schlep to get to, but well worth the effort.
EYE ON THE NEW A Case for Collection is the culmination of a three-year shopping spree by the Towner Art Gallery and the Contemporary Art Society. They have spent pounds 90,000 on a mix of new work by living artists including sculptor David Nash and the painters John Virtue and Ian McKeever. Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne, East Sussex (01323 417961)Reuse content