Neil Jeffries RA, Mildews Blighting Barley

Mildews Blighting Barley, 2015

Neil Jeffries RA (b. 1959)

RA Collection: Art

Neil Jeffries’ Diploma work shows the artist’s characteristic style of painted metal sculpture. The work combines individual fragments and shapes, melded into a single narrative – here the damaging fungal growth of mildew on a barley crop.

The curving and warped forms reflect the struggle of the barley plant to survive, the ears of seed sagging and sickly. The small black spots of oil paint show the mildew taking hold of its host, with the swirling tendril at the bottom of the work evoking the slow strangulation of the plant by the fungus.

Jeffries is an artist who covers wide-ranging subjects which can often seem incongruous, focussing on anything he finds relevant or of interest. He has a profound fascination for medieval art, and his work is characterised by an uncertain figuration evident in many of his metal sculptures.

Object details

Mildews Blighting Barley
Object type
Copyright owner
Oil on aluminium

870 mm x 910 mm x 390 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Neil Jeffries RA accepted 2017
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