Landscape Research Group

26 Apr 2021

By Emma Roodhouse, Collections and Learning Curator

What do maps, well-being and the climate crisis have to do with landscape art?

These are just the sorts of questions that the Landscape Research Group seeks to explore. This research group is dedicated to British landscape art from the historical to the contemporary. Many museums and galleries across the UK hold significant landscape art collections and the Landscape Research Group was formed to make these collections active, accessible and relevant. As well as promoting research in more traditional areas of British landscape art history, we are eager to amplify new ways of thinking about landscape art particularly through the lens of topical issues.


A watercolour painting showing a large, red brick building in the middle distance. In front of it is a lake, which has a reflection of the building on the surface. In the immediate foreground are leafy green trees on either side. The top of a church is visible behind the building and trees fill the horizon line in the distance.

Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich by William Buck (1821–1900), watercolour


The group is part of the British Art Network (BAN). The aim is to promote curatorial research, practice and theory in the field of British art. Members include curators, academics, artist-researchers, conservators, producers and programmers at all stages of their professional lives. All are actively engaged in caring for, developing and presenting British art, whether in museums, galleries, heritage settings or art spaces, in published form or in educational settings, across the UK and beyond.

BAN provides a place for sharing expertise, helps forge connections, and creates time and space for critical exchange and debate. Our activities are defined by our membership and reflect a broad range of expertise, experience and viewpoints. At the heart of everything we do there is a collective commitment to expanding definitions of British art, acknowledging complex historical truths and their present-day resonances, and communicating the continuing public value of British art collections and curatorial expertise around the UK. In the Landscape Research Group, we hope our work can facilitate new ways of looking at landscape art, to inspire new initiatives and to promote collaboration.


A photograph showing five canvases, hung in a horizontal line from string between two trees. Another two tree trunks are visble behind them. The canvases are covered with different colours and abstract shapes.

Film still from Landscape in Lockdown by Siobhan McLaughlin, oil bar and oil paint on mixed materials. © the artist


The Landscape Research Group has already undertaken a number of events in 2020 and 2021.

  • Two commissions about landscape art in lockdown during 2020. One example is artist, Siobhan McLaughlin, who received a grant in 2020 to develop a film. The above film still is from the finished work.
  • Mapping the Landscape webinar held on 11th February 2021.
  • Landscape and Well-Being webinar held on 31st March 2021.

Recordings of the webinars can be seen on Colchester + Ipswich Museums YouTube channel and watch out for future Landscape Art Research films being added.


A series of four prints arranged two by two. They show a red brick building with trees and a lawn. Each one is slightly different, with the building appearing clearer in some than others. A dotty texture gives the impression of a fog over the landscape, making the building hard to see.

RA, Mist Clearing, Storm Brewing, Frith Farm, 1991. © Royal Academy of Arts. © Photo: Royal Academy of Arts, London. Photographer: John Hammond.


The group hopes to attract interest from a wide range of people who want to explore landscape art, including freelancers, museum professionals, artists, academics, curators, learning and, engagement specialists who seek innovative approaches to the study of historic and contemporary landscape art. Through seminars, workshops and collection visits, the group raises questions and develops activities that are transferable to the study of British landscape art in general and are connected to current issues.


A painting showing a crowd of people on the edge of a cliff. A river is visible to the left and in the distance another cliff with trees and buildings. There are many boats on the river, with smoke rising from chimneys on some.

Samuel Colman, The Ceremony of Laying the Foundation Stone of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Copyright Bristol Museum & Art Gallery.


The British Landscapes group is convened by Jenny Gaschke (Curator of European Art, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery), Helen Record (Assistant Curator Royal Academy) and Emma Roodhouse (Collections and Learning Curator (Art), Colchester + Ipswich Museums).

If you are interested in joining the group, please contact Emma Roodhouse,


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