Art dealer Fergus Madden is holding an exhibition of mixed media paintings by his son Dominic at his gallery in Stanford Dingley, West Berkshire, over two weekends. The works depict woodland in the region of the village and the exhibition is entitled England and nowhere, a quotation from T.S. Eliot’s poem LIttle Gidding.

Dominic Madden is a graduate of St Martin’s School of Art. He has travelled extensively to the Middle and Far East; over the last ten years he has developed an intense interest in topography and the impact the inner world has on it. This has led to a wide range of images. The exhibition focuses on woodland in the Pang Valley in West Berkshire and explores the effect this may have on an outsider. At first glance we see ravishing glades of dappled sunlight and mysterious woodland depths; on closer inspection we find more ambiguous and sometimes disturbing waves of thought.

Dominic puts this recent work into the wider context of paintings and collages derived from his travels over the last years: He says: “The works draw as much on my travels in Syria, Lebanon and China as they do on English painting and the neo-romantic tradition. Likewise, images that display the foliage as an intricate mosaic of forms owe as much to Persian miniature painting as they do to Impressionism. Similarly, both Chinese paper cuts and European street stencils are evoked. Thus the wood as an icon of Englishness is permeated with the spoils of distant cultures.

“These paintings reveal the gradual intrusion of culture into the natural world. Filtered through the prism of images from newspaper stories the forest becomes a dizzying array of signs, a plethora of windows into everday life, from advertising to images of conflicts abroad. For example, a walker out with the dog, may relive the moment of impact in a recently read description of a car-crash, sensed perhaps in the dense foliage of a holly bush.”

The exhibition is at the Fergus Madden Gallery in Stanford Dingley (opposite the Old Boot). It will run from Friday to Monday: March 9 to March 12 and from March 16 to March 19 between noon and 6pm. For enquiries and directions please ring Fergus Madden on 01189 744654.