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Rowland Hilder exhibition opens at Chatham Historic Dockyard

Iconic paintings that made an artist synonymous with Kent go on show this weekend.

Artist Rowland Hilder depicted landscapes in the winter from around the county that became affectionately known as ‘Hilderscapes’.

Described as ‘the Turner of his generation', a selection of his works – some of which have never gone on show before – are going on display at the Historic Dockyard Chatham.

It’s been curated by Hilder aficionado and family friend Nettie Iles, from Rochester’s Francis Iles Gallery. The exhibition will also feature a reconstruction of part of his studio.

First Snow by Rowland Hilder - part of the exhibition at the dockyard
First Snow by Rowland Hilder - part of the exhibition at the dockyard

His first work was shown at the Royal Academy when he was 18, but his enthusiasm never left him.

At 80 he said: “With a bit more time I could get the hang of this.”

He was also a great sailor and had a coastguard's cottage at Shell Ness, at the mouth of the River Swale, as his base for marine painting.

Hilder was awarded the OBE in 1986. He died aged 87 seven years later.

Garden of England by Rowland Hilder
Garden of England by Rowland Hilder

Also on show will be works by his wife Edith, son Anthony, daughter and son-in-law Heather and Rado and grandson Will, all artists in their own right.

The exhibition will be at the Historic Dockyard Chatham’s No.1 Smithery: The Gallery from Saturday, October 10, to Sunday, November 29.

For further details go online to www.thedockyard.co.uk

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