The Icknield Way is considered to be one of the oldest roads in Great Britain, tracing a path across the chalk uplands from Dorset to Norfolk. Along this route it crosses fields in Ickleford before passing through the residential and industrial areas of Letchworth. The Icknield Way Project was developed by artist Karen Picton to showcase works that embody the physical nature of this ancient roadway as it becomes progressively more unknown and lost amongst the materials of the world’s first garden city.
The exhibition will focus on a series of paintings made using earth sourced along the rural section of the Icknield Way, as well as found elements collected from the built up areas of Letchworth. By incorporating natural and manmade materials into these works, Picton is suggesting the evolution of a cultural timeline that stretches from prehistoric times to our present Anthropocene era.
Karen Picton is an artist fascinated by the land, its materials, history and the human touch that marks its nature. She gained a BA (Hons) Fine Art from The University of Hertfordshire and was a fellow of Digswell Arts Trust from 2010 – 2015. She exhibits regularly both independently and alongside emerging and nationally recognized artists, and was recently selected to take part in A Case for Place, an Arts Council funded project at Gallery Steel Rooms in Lincolnshire.