New Documentary tells the story of Art & Artists of the Stour Valley

Stour Surrounding – Artists and the Valley’ is a new documentary film celebrating artists both past and present who have responded to the landscape of the Stour Valley.

In the film we hear how this special landscape – of John Constable, Thomas Gainsborough, Cedric Morris and Alfred Munnings – continues to shape and speak to the work of contemporary artists today. Moving between studio interviews and beautiful footage across the valley we hear from painter and sculptor Maggi Hambling who speaks of ‘absorbing’ the landscape, and from Simon Carter, and May Cornet who talk expressively about how they respond to the Stour Valley and landscape in their own individual ways.

The film has been produced by artist and gardener Jevan Watkins Jones with Offshoot Films. It was commissioned by the ‘Improving the Stour Valley for Visitors’ project, which is hosted by the Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and is funded by The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

There will be six opportunities to view this film as follows: 

  1. Firstsite in Colchester, Thursday 30th January 2020, 7pm – Screening followed by Q+A with artists Jevan Watkins Jones, Simon Carter and Jenny Hand, Director The Munnings Art Museum. (
  2. St George’s Theatre in Great Yarmouth, Tuesday 11th February, 7.30pm (
  3. Suffolk University (Waterfront Building) in Ipswich, Tuesday 18th February, 6pm (
  4. Hamilton MAS in Felixstowe, 20th February, 7pm – This event is free to book, but Hamilton MAS encourages a ‘pay what you feel’ donation on the night, to help cover the venue costs. The film viewing will be followed by a Q&A session with Jevan Watkins Jones. Refreshments (wine and coffee) will be available by donation.
  5. Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich, 25th March, 6.30pm – see the River Stour Festival website for further details. 

Further screenings will be listed on the River Stour Festival website

Alongside the film the Improving the Stour Valley for Visitors project is producing a series of guides for visitors to explore with.  The first guide to be launched is ‘Art in the Stour Valley’.  The Stour Valley is a nationally significant area for artists, positioned on the border between Essex and Suffolk – an area sometime referred to as Constable Country – and under an hour by train from London. With its wide skies, abundant natural light and gentle green horizon, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an inspiration for landscape artists in particular.

For centuries its inhabitants and visitors have celebrated this valley with their artistic skills and talents. From famous artists of the past who painted this special landscape, such as Constable, Gainsborough, Nash and Munnings, to contemporary artists working, teaching and displaying their works in galleries today, the Stour Valley is a unique and exciting destination for those with an interest in art.

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