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This is one of a number of paintings the artist made from drawings after visiting Audierne in Brittany in 1957. Apart from the gorse, he made notes and drawings of a lighthouse, the sea, fields, stone-walls and vegetable plots. The paintings were exhibited the same year in his second one-man exhibition at the Zwemmer Galleries. The companion work to this painting is 'Bracken and Gorse' belonging to Birmingham City Art Gallery. As in 'Man Carrying a Pig' 1955 which is also in the Tate's collection, Coker used board as his support, modelling his forms in thick paint. He has compared the texture of the tangled mass of twigs and branches in this painting to his encrusted surfaces of previous years.

August 2004