Bill Lewis reviews Simon Mills’ latest exhibition: Woods, Cliffs and Marshes – Landscapes of the South Country

Simon Mills what's on where in Kent WOW Kent

Medway Poet Bill Lewis pays a visit to Nucleus Arts, Chatham to view artist Simon Mills’ latest exhibition. Full event details of the exhibition can be found here.

Standing in a gallery surrounded by Simon Mills’ paintings is like being in an antechamber between worlds. Each painting is like a glowing portal into that forest where we all once dwelled and that we all carry inside of us.

Often landscape paintings can be a little twee, safe and chocolate box, but not these. These paintings are bold, dramatic and have a poetic truth about them; here, a sky pregnant with rain seen moments before its waters break; here a copse of trees illuminated by a momentary beam of sunlight, like a visual version of a musical chord in Vaughan Williams’ ‘Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis’; here a chalk quarry, mysterious and deserted yet still part of the narrative of Kent.

The paintings have a fresh 21st century eye on an ancient theme. They show us the Eternal Britain that exists unsullied by the present mood of flag waving and Nationalism. This is an exhibition that anyone who loves our landscape should go and see.

The show runs from April 27 to May 10 at Nucleus Arts, Chatham.