Seeking a second home far from the heady London art scene. Georgie Hopton and her husband, Gary Hume, decided to put down roots - literally - on a 40 acre farm in upstate New York. Here, she makes good use of their bumper crops of fruit and veg, creating vibrant monoprints for general consumption. Augusta Pownall gets a slice of the couple’s parallel life abroad.
When the artist Georgie Hopton and her husband - the painter Gary Hume - were looking for an escape from the hectic social whirl that revolves around their Bloomsbury town house (WoI Oct 2017) and the exhibition openings of their YBA friends and contemporaries, their number-one priority was space. ‘We decided we had enough money for a country house, but we realised we didn’t have enough to do it (in the UK), because we both needed a studio,’ she explains. AImost 17 years ago, they opted instead for the vast open spaces of America, when the pound was strong compared with now.
The spot they chose, and to which they have been making annual pilgrimages ever since, is a bucolic early 20th-century farmstead in upstate New York, half an hour’s drive from Woodstock. It consists of a scattering of barns, chicken coops and outbuildings that house their respective studios, clustered around the main farmhouse, which they have doubled in size. The 40-acre property encompasses woodland, meadow, bog, three orchards, ponds and even a potting shed-cum-sauna (‘I know, so luxurious!’). It’s a fair amount of land to take on, and not for the fainthearted. ‘If you turn your back - I’m not joking - after a few weeks it’s a wilderness.’ Sprightly, bright-eyed and with the warm but nononsense candour of someone brought up in Harrogate, Hopton has risen to the challenge.