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A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d & Samson Agonistes

My next solo show will be A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d & Samson Agonistes. This work was made whilst on the Albers Foundation Residency in 2022, part of the Albers series of drawings.

I’m extremely honoured to have an exhibition at Milton’s Cottage in Chalfont St Giles. After all, this was the place where the blind poet spoke his last two poems into existence. I’ll be showing A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d and Samson Agonistes for the first time.

 

Milton’s Cottage

Milton’s Cottage in Chalfont St Giles is the only surviving home of the visionary poet and parliamentarian John Milton. It’s the place where he sought refuge from the Great Plague of 1665 to complete his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost. My drawings will be displayed throughout this public space, alongside a first edition of Milton’s final poems (1671).

 

Speaking into Milton’s home

I hope that my work will speak to the place where Milton completed his epic masterpiece, Paradise Lost, and was inspired to write Paradise Regain’d. As part of this, I will be giving a public talk about this work in the museum on Wednesday 24th July, from 7.30pm. This will also be available to online audiences.

 

New publication

This exhibition coincides with a new publication, Milton Across Borders and Media (OUP, 2023) where, in a chapter called ‘The Synergies of Drawing and Painting Paradise Lost’, I explore how Milton has been my companion, like Virgil to Dante, guiding me through the narrative of my life. This covers the story behind my 10-year Conversation with Milton’s Paradise Lost – 128 drawings, 40 paintings and 12 relief prints, finally completed in 2021. This was followed by a commission from the Milton Society of America to respond to Milton’s pastoral elegy, Lycidas in 2020.

 

350 years since the death of Milton

The show celebrates the 350th anniversary of Milton’s death this year.

 

Creation, destruction, temptation, love, and loss

I hope that by responding to Milton’s universal themes of creation, destruction, temptation, love and loss, I can help new audiences find fresh ways to engage in Milton’s legacy, in line with the museum’s practice of displaying contemporary art alongside its permanent collection.

Kelly O’Reilly, Director of Milton’s Cottage, says:

Since 1688, when the first illustrated edition of Paradise Lost was published, Milton’s poetry has inspired many of our greatest artists, from Blake to Turner, Dore to Dali.  We’re delighted to show the work of a contemporary artist who is extending this tradition.

 

Opening times

The exhibition runs from 3 July to 8 September and is included with entry to Milton’s Cottage. Opening times are Wednesday to Sunday, from 2 to 5pm (last entry 4.30pm) as well as bank holiday Mondays. Admission prices are £7 / £6 for concessions / free for carers and children under 16.

 

Opening reception

Please join me for the opening reception for A Conversation with Paradise Regain’d & Samson Agonistes at Milton’s Cottageon Tuesday 2nd July 2024, from 6.30 – 8.30pm: 21 Deanway, Chalfont Saint Giles, HP8 4JH.

 

Further information

For further information please contact Kelly O’Reilly, Director of Milton’s Cottage, on 01494 872313 or businessdirector@miltonscottage.org.