Lenses on a Landscape Genius  


Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716-1783) once dreamed of ‘finishing England’. In his lifetime, he was recognised by his peers for pioneering engineering and forward-thinking artistic genius in the improvement of land. He is Britain’s first and foremost ‘landscape architect’.

This exhibition marks Brown’s tercentenary through the eyes of contemporary photographers who have explored the places and the history that inspired his greatest works. Whether now urban or rural, his landscapes are woven into the cultural fabric of this country and, despite the passage of two and a half centuries, continue to be much enjoyed and utilised. The photographers celebrate and demonstrate Brown’s enduring designs in the scale of settings, in line, beauty, drama and variety.

This exhibition has two interwoven themes. Sixteen photographers are interpreting Brown’s creativity through contemporary photographs of some of his surviving works – it is an exhibition of fine landscape photographs. At the same time these photographs, enriched by quotations, display and explain Brown’s creative achievements. The photographers were given a brief about Brown’s work and asked then to perceive his landscapes in their own way. An independent panel selected the most appealing 50% of the photographs without knowing the photographers' names. The subject areas for the exhibition were revealed by the photographs themselves, from which the main headings and sub-headings have been derived.

Featured in the exhibition:

A walk through Blenheim Park

Mistaken for nature



Design and technique

Man and practitioner

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown by Jon Edgar

Photographers include:

- Matthew Bruce
- Joe Cornish
- Gareth Davies
- Jacqui Hurst
- Andrea Jones
- James Kerr
- Gavin Kingcome
- Andrew Lawson
- Archie Miles
- Allan Pollok-Moris
- Gary Rogers
- Derek St Romaine
- Steffie Shields
- James Smith
- Stephen Studd
- Simon Warner

This exhibition was on display at The Building Centre from 23 June - 26 October 2016. Images and text from the exhibition can be viewed throughout this page.