Matthew Barley/Cellist

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.

Victor Hugo

Artists responding to Britten's Third Suite for Cello

Britten had an important collection of art in his home, The Red House, of over 200 pieces and was an avid collector with a good eye. Britten’s work on opera required work with artists and he enjoyed significant collaborations with artists such as Sydney Nolan, John Piper and Mary Potter.

As we already had a visual element in the tour with the contribution of Yeast Culture I thought it would be interesting to take this further and I approached two very different artists who were interested to give their responses to the Third Suite.

I spent a very enjoyable day with artists Jane Mackay and Becky Campbell playing them the Britten Suite and talking in detail about the construction of the piece, as well as comments about my approach to interpreting it and other personal reflections. Becky created a very strong and simple piece from cut leather, and Jane came up with a gorgeous series of thirteen acrylic paintings.

And scroll to the bottom for a brand new Britten sculpture by Vivien Whitaker.

Jane Mackay - A Series of Thirteen Paintings

To see more of Jane’s work, visit

Becky Campbell - Ten Thoughts Concluding with Simplicity

Vivien Whitaker - 'Britten's Third Cello Suite'

 Sculptor Vivien Whitaker attended a Britten concert late in the tour and was inspired by the composition to create this extraordinary piece made of Italian alabaster – I was very honoured.

To see more of Vivien’s work, visit