Italy Luce e Colore Paintings and Stories from the Italian Landscape

Published on 09/2/2003

Private View September 2nd 2003 6pm at Gallery 27, Cork Street London.

Exhibition is available to view from 2nd to 5th September 

More than 30 new paintings by John Dyer 
John Dyer's largest ever painting will be revealed on the night of the private view.


Eden's resident artist John Dyer has been asked by the Eden Project to paint the landscape, people and crops of the Italian regions of Umbria and Tuscany. 

To interpret and embellish John's paintings Eden have also commissioned the acclaimed writers group 'Scavel an Gow' to write five new stories about John's paintings to accompany the exhibition. One of these stories 'The Harvest' by Amanda Harris will be published in the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition. 

John will be exhibiting his work alongside work by his father Ted Dyer and wife Joanne Short who have also painted Italy in their own unique ways.

Artist's Statement
"Food, we all eat it - but do we stop often enough to consider how it was produced? Do we expect our food to be cheap ? Does this have an impact on the planet? These are all very big questions and ones that I can't answer - but on an individual level we can all do our bit to find out and make simple changes if we feel we should. 
My family and I have made some simple choices over the last five years, we eat a vegetarian diet, try to shop locally for foods that are available locally, and have taken on an allotment to grow some of our own food to find out what is involved in raising a successful harvest. These changes have helped me to appreciate what I am eating - and to realise that to work with nature to produce a harvest is a complex, time consuming, often fruitless but if successful a very rewarding process. 

Having been involved with Eden from the early days at Watering Lane, to the present, I have painted many food producing plants; ancient olive trees, fresh crops of tomatoes, aubergines of all shapes and sizes, vines, figs and sunflowers. Because of this it was a natural progression for me as an artist to want to explore these crops in their native situation and to paint the human interaction of people with these plants. 

My paintings always have a narrative running through them - it is for the viewer to decide what this may be; then we have something magical and unique. Each viewer can have a different reaction and take away something of their own from my work.

"What this project sets out to achieve, through the combination of Eden's knowledge, the craft of storytelling and the visual impact of painting, is to grow the simple story of a family tending their 'orto' into a more complex understanding of the crops, family circumstances, economics, and the landscape that surrounds them. 

The work has become even more poignant as Italy begins to suffer in the severe climatic conditions. Italy's crops and economy are under severe stress. I hope my paintings will make people stop and think for a moment about the individual crop and the people who raised it from seed' John Dyer 2003

If, through my paintings, just one person leaves the exhibition with a greater understanding of food and an appreciation of the beauty and value of a diverse and well managed landscape, then I will have achieved something extremely worth while."


John Dyer 2003