Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) exhibition, Wenhaston Suffolk

Artworks’ Ruth McCabe on the Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) annual exhibition in Wenhaston, Suffolk:

Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) exhibition comes to St. Peter’s, Wenhaston again!

Over four years we have celebrated a Suffolk village’s connection to the artist Harry Becker, whose work superbly recorded the sweat and toil of pre-mechanised farm labour in the early years of last century. Becker trained across Europe and worked for a time in London before moving out to Wenhaston, Suffolk. Unfortunately, in contrast to Constable, his work has been largely overlooked by the art world.

Enthusiastically supported by artists and the public, IBBAS is delighted that, again, we have been inundated with applications to exhibit in our annual exhibition, and this year 34 East Anglian artists are offering contemporary work which is in some way ‘inspired by Becker”. Over half the artists are new to the show, so visitors can be assured that there will once again be an exciting and inspiring collection of work.

Jo Lowrie exhibits with us for the first time this year, “Autumnal Hush” in oil giving a sense of her sensitive response to the Suffolk landscape, confirmed in the words of her statement:

Having lived in Suffolk most of my life and conscious of the old farming traditions, I was thrilled to be introduced to Harry Becker’s work some 15 years ago. It immediately tapped into long forgotten memories of that rural world he was recording, and which ever since, I have tried to express through my own work. The images I am currently producing are of that hushed sensation when harvest is over, the fields are bleached gold, the sun is low and the journey towards the solstice has begun.


Jo Lowrie, “Autumnal Hush”

By way of contrast, IBBAS also welcomes artists whose work tends more towards the abstract, Ruth McCabe offering this large watercolour in which the landscape is interpreted in translucent layers built up over time and reflecting the distant horizons and unfolding forms so much a feature of the Suffolk agricultural habitat.


For visitors who love the loose, swiftly executed drawings of Harry Becker, Margaret Wyllie’s work in charcoal might appeal: Hereford mother and child, Suffolk Show, 2016.


Margaret Wyllie, Hereford mother and child, Suffolk Show

We believe this exhibition has at its heart a very special feature: the fact that its purpose is to celebrate and raise public awareness about the work of Harry Becker. It’s a work of love!

In addition to our annual exhibition, IBBAS now runs a drawing event for all ages once a year in the village, and recently we began work with the village school on a drawing and painting project, donating our bespoke sketchbooks paid for with money we received for our work in a local arts project in 2015. In these we encouraged the children to make their own marks, responding to the village around them. The school’s project will culminate in a large mural in the Village Hall based on their drawings, which will be completed with the children in the Autumn term.

A NEW FEATURE has been introduced this year: Plein-Air Painting competition: “PAINT OUT” open to all. It will take place on Saturday 6th August 2016. Work produced will be exhibited from 1pm onwards and can be for sale. Prizes will be awarded! Come and have a go!!! Participation is free. Bring your own materials and register at the church 10am on Saturday.

We’d be delighted if readers could support us at the exhibition this August.
Opening times: Friday 5th and Saturday 6th August 10am until 5pm, and Sunday 7th August 10am until 4pm. Card payment available.
Venue: St. Peter’s Church, Wenhaston, Suffolk IP19 9BJ.

St. Peter’s will be providing their delicious refreshments in the Church Room over the weekend.

Find out more about Becker, the exhibition and the competition on

Inspired by Becker Art Society