Jonathan Fryer

Caroline Havers’ A Walk in the Park

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 18th October, 2011

Caroline Havers, wife of the No 2 at the Dutch Embassy in London, looks down on Kensington Gardens from their flat in the Embassy building in Hyde Park Gate and since arriving in London she has been regularly taking walks there, as well as in Hyde Park. This experience has deeply infused her latest series of paintings, semi-abstract landscapes that are a riot of bright colours and which are currently enlivening Smith Square’s Europe House, headquarters of the European Commission and European Parliament in England. As the programme note to her current exhibition states, her use of colour is luscious; I particularly savoured the vibrant ‘Yellows Along the Serpentine’. Water is a key element, but so too the seasons — all a very different vista from her earlier work focussed more narrowly on flowers, trees and animals. The Dutch Ambassador, Pim Waldeck, gave a witty and well-thought out short speech at the vernissage, confirming his position as one of the more culturally intelligent plenipotentiaries accredited to the Court of St James’s. It was lovely also to see there Maggi Hambling, whose work launched Europe House at its opening, reminding us by her presence just how diverse and exciting exhibitions there have proved to be.

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