Recent Paintings, 2000 onwards
These large-scale works painted in the past two decades have not been shown in public before. They explore new ways of seeing and depicting aspects of landscape and represent a departure from the artist’s earlier paintings of landscapes with wide horizons and large skies, covering the period up to the late 1980s
A time of working with aerial photography, flying low over the fields of the South Downs, had given Hitchens a different awareness of the landscape. The subject matter of these recent paintings is still landscape-related but freer in its interpretation, with objects inhabiting their own environment and space. The viewer’s relationship with these large canvases changes with proximity, as smaller areas of detail capture the landscape on a more intimate scale. Dots and lines reflect rows of stubble, fence lines in the ground, steams and paths on the hills. Dark areas hark back to the custom of stubble burning, which remained common into the 1990s.