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Prunella Clough is one of Britain's most respected painters. She is this year's winner of the Jerwood Prize for painting, and Kettle's Yard in Cambridge recently organised a retrospective of her work. Clough's first solo show was at the Leger Galleries in 1947, and included still lifes and landscapes. Throughout the late 1940s, she frequented the Suffolk Coast and her paintings of the time often feature coastal subjects. 'The White Root', shown here, belongs to this phase and depicts a bleached root structure, a wooden box and other debris. Although Clough derived the subject from observed reality, she has characteristically developed the root's abstract qualities. It represents a natural object, but is also explored as a highly expressive form.

September 2004