Stirring memories about childhood walk on the South West Coast Path

Matt Falkner of Riverford Organic Ve,g whose favourite work of art is a painting by Jo Vollers entit

Matt Falkner of Riverford Organic Ve,g whose favourite work of art is a painting by Jo Vollers entitled Looking Down to Chesil Beach. Picture: Alison Summerfield - Credit: Archant

Arts Writer Alison Summerfield meets Matt Falkner, of Riverford Organic Veg, who discusses his favourite work of art.

As a dedicated Riverford fan, I was delighted to meet Matt Falkner who took on Riverford’s Exeter and East Devon franchise about seven years ago.

From its humble beginnings in 1987, when the inimitable Guy Watson delivered veg boxes to 30 friends in Totnes, Riverford today delivers more than 50,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional farms.

This award-winning, ethical company (go to their website to see the numerous accolades) goes from strength to strength without compromising its original ethos and these days customers can choose to have meat, fruit, bread, wine, dairy products, and all manner of cupboard essentials delivered to their door weekly with no delivery charge and complete freedom of choice too.

Matt chose ‘Looking Down to Chesil Beach’ (oil on board 71 x 56 cm) because he said: “Chesil Beach was my very first experience of the South West Coastal Path nearly 20 years ago. On seeing it for the first time, I remember feeling very small, standing in awe at the sheer scale of it. In the South West, we are blessed with many areas of natural beauty but for me, Chesil Beach is such a special place to visit. The views are truly unique and Jo’s painting for me captures the landscape perfectly, lending perfectly to your own interpretation and imagination.”

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Jo is particularly inspired by the changing effects of the seasons on the landscape close to her East Devon studio. She studied at the Heatherly Art School, Chelsea, and over the years her loose style of painting has been influenced she explains, from studying painters such as; Ivon Hitchins, Peter Lanyon and Joan Eardley. Mixing the palette and creating the colours is always her starting point, and the natural landscape, still life and flowers from her garden are her favoured themes but she said: “The subject matter is less important than the abstract qualities of the painting, for me it is the emotional response that is important”.

And it is Matt’s response to Jo’s painting that takes him right back to his time spent on Chesil Beach; “The wind blowing and my limbs tired at the top of a hill. Now where’s that pub!” he grins.

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That is the magic of Jo’s work.

Jo’s paintings can be seen in artenax Topsham. She is a member of the Chelsea Art Society, and an associate member of The South West Academy and is represented by Cricket Fine Art in London.

For more information on Riverford Home Delivery and their comprehensive Christmas range contact Matt on: 01392 797386

For more features from East Devon Resident, click here.

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