Actress Sheila Hancock takes an exclusive look at JMW Turner’s iconic work The Blue Rigi, Sunrise and the watercolour palette that Turner carried with him when painting outdoors. Watercolour is at Tate Britain from February 16 to 21 August 2011.

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Sheila Hancock is presenting a new programme for the BBC, ‘The Art of Travel - The History of Watercolour’, and in anticipation of the exhibition ‘Watercolour’ at Tate Britain she shares her passion for the power of watercolour as a medium. The most ambitious exhibition about watercolour ever to be staged, with works spanning 800 years, this boundary-breaking survey celebrates the full variety of ways watercolour has been used. From manuscripts, miniatures and maps through to works showing the expressive visual splendour of foreign landscapes, watercolour has always played a part in British Art.