Norman Ackroyd

The Avenue at Avington


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Norman Ackroyd born 1938
Aquatint on paper
Image: 95 × 114 mm
Transferred from the Library 1983

Catalogue entry

P08210 The Avenue at Avington 1982

From ‘Itchen Water: poems by Jeremy Hooker and etchings by Norman Ackroyd’
Aquatint 3 3/4 × 4 5/8 (950 × 117) on paper 12 1/2 × 9 3/8 (317 × 239), printed and published by Winchester School of Art Press
Inscribed ‘Norman Ackroyd 82’ b.r. and ‘The Avenue at Avington’ and ‘59/90’ Transferred from the Library 1983

P08210 was printed to accompany the book Itchen Water which was published in a limited edition as follows: the first fifty copies numbered I to L contained ten initialled original etchings plus six artist's proofs and four presentation copies; one hundred copies numbered 1 to 100 with tipped in reproductions and one initialled original etching. P08210 was inserted into copy number 77 and is signed rather than initialled.

Itchen Water contains poems by Jeremy Hooker evoking locations in the Winchester area and impressions of natural phenomena. Each poem is accompanied by a reproduction of an etching by Norman Ackroyd. These images are not illustrations of the poems but parallel them. ‘The Avenue at Avington’ appears both as an inserted original etching and as a reproduction facing page 14. It accompanies a poem entitled ‘Avington: the Avenue at Dawn’.

Avington is approximately five miles north east of Winchester and has been the subject of several prints by Ackroyd. The artist has stated, in answer to questions posed by the compiler in February 1986, that P08210 is a ‘fairly true representation of this site’ and that he drew on the plate ‘almost entirely’ on location.

P08210 depicts the dark forms of monumental trees rising high above the ground. In an interview in the Fine Art Letter, 6, May 1982, p.17 Ackroyd stated that the impression he receives in this avenue is ‘almost like a cathedral’. He also indicated that

The trees at Avington were hand planted. They do excite me. I like the idea that the people who planted that avenue knew they would never live to see it in this kind of glory. It's the ultimate in unselfishness ...The people who planted these things for us, because we are seeing them, they have a feeling of timelessness about them.

This entry has been approved by the artist.

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