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ST*ART Spaces: Turner, Landscape and Light

We’re investigating the use of light in art, focusing on one of England’s most famous painters, JMW Turner, and his masterpiece Walton Bridges.

For hundreds of years artists have been observing the transforming light that different atmospheric conditions create - from a sunrise breaking through the mist to storm clouds casting deep shadows.

JMW Turner was a master at capturing the atmosphere and drama he witnessed on display. By spending a lifetime outside in the landscape, sketching and recording the changing light and weather, Turner developed a deep connection to and understanding of the subject he loved. All these sketches became a memory bank of ideas to use later in his work.

Walton Bridges (1806) Oil on canvas,
JMW Turner (1775-1851)
© Norfolk Museums Service

Hear me, see me

Come on an audio amble and linger a while in the sounds, smells and sights of Turner’s Walton Bridges landscape.

Listen to the audio amble on Soundcloud.

View the transcript of the audio amble. 

Have a go at home

Visit a favourite spot close to your home and record the changes at different times of day. You may want to take a photo in the exact same space on each visit. Or like Turner, try sketching / painting what you see - looking particularly at how the light of the sky affects the landscape below. By creating your very own visual weather diary, you will see just how powerfully various lights can affect landscape and atmosphere.

Show us!

Send images of your work, making sure you include your name and any titles or descriptions, and we will share them via our social media channels. Please send any images to

Useful links

National Lottery Heritage Fund

Turner's painting was saved for the nation by Norfolk Museums in 2019 with the generous support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund. See more information about their work.

Walton Bridges

Turner isn’t the only artist inspired by the bridges at Walton. See more artworks of the Walton bridges.

See what the crossing looks like today.


If you would like to know some more about JMW Turner and his work there is more information on Tate's website.

Turner's House

Turner built a home for himself on the banks of the Thames. Find out more about Turner's House.

Slow art

What is Slow Art? This BBC article explains more, and the National Slow Art Day website has more information. 

The National Gallery has ways to practice slow art using their collection. 

Try the 5-minute meditations from The National Gallery.

Try Sensing the Unseen from The National Gallery at home.