Monthly Archives: June 2009

the company of artists [part two]

Tuesday 30 June 2009

open studios or art trails are curious events… the artists involved know that for it to be successful it must be a collaborative effort and yet it is the single most important event (aside from the solo exhibition) in which the artist must and does play centre stage… i like meeting new people, talking generally about art, and not just my own, although i find that good too, to reflect on and re-evaluate my practice…

paintings in progress - salthouse exhibition - art studio

work in progress – for salthouse : salt of the earth, salthouse church

most artists would like to think that the work speaks for itself (the surest sign that the work actually works) but we all need a way in, to understand, to appreciate, to value art and artists… at one art show, my attention was so focused on a large abstract painting that i quite forgot to look downwards and inadvertently walked into a neat pile of soil (or was it sand?), part of a carefully prepared and considered installation piece… if art can surprise us and occasionally trips us up, then the most mundane objects in gallery situations have the potential to be works of art: is that light bulb part of the installation, what about that ladder leaning against a wall, and the broken chair, the paint splatters on the floor? such accidental juxtapositions can fuel new ideas…

paintings in progress - studio diptychs

works in progress

it would seem that abstractions (in the literal sense) present as many problems to new viewers as conceptual art… whereas conceptual art’s premise resides in the quality and clarity of the original idea, and the realisation of the piece is a largely mechanical affair, often in abstract or minimalist art, the subjective nature of art makes it different for each person, either perceptually (the vision, reading or interpretation), or expressively (the evidence of its construction and the material effects)…

the benefit i have gained from setting my work up in the barn is to see my work in the wider perspective, a location in which it was born and realised… a confirmation of my vision… most of the large paintings were created for a corporate setting in London, and i had originally photographed them in the winter… now, i can see them in a much clearer light…

open studios - paintings
[edgesacpe : meld 2008, mixed media on canvas]

this series of paintings are the main pieces in the art trail… it seems right that they are placed in a rural and open setting, for they do hold, if only very slightly, memories and traces of their surroundings… a concrete vision hopes for a shared perspective, the then and now, but reflections live on, endlessly, without pictorial bounds…

norfolk field winter
[winter field, norfolk 2009]…

salthouse 09 : 2 july to 2 august 2009

a tranquil gaze

Monday 29 June 2009

after the hustle bustle of the art trail weekend, it was a welcome break to travel to salthouse to install my piece for the salthouse art exhibition…. having only ventured to salthouse a couple of times before, i am beginning to wonder if it is perpetually shrouded in an ethereal mist… as we travelled northwards, about ten miles from our destination, a mist appeared, and, unlike the mist of winter which descends slowly, silently and is usually quite still, this mist arrived in waves, moving in smoke-like drifts across the fields…

north norfolk mist over fields

small paintings for salthouse 09 art exhibition in salthouse church July 2009

[saltscapes i – xxv] 100cm x 100cm, gesso and mixed media on wood panel, installed for the exhibition salthouse 09

the mist scarcely dispersed along the winding coastal road, and became even denser as we neared salthouse village… later, taking a short walk across the salt marshes to the sea, from the vantage point of the high shingle bank, all evidence of salthouse the village was erased by the silvery greyness, and looking north, east and west the mist quietly enveloped, obliterating the sea horizon, a sense of direction briefly lost but a strange sense of immensity gained, a vaporous cocoon of immeasurable calm…

salthouse beach in mist
[salthouse beach, june 2009]

a tranquil gaze, discovered in the humblest of eyes, are the artisans of immensity (the poetics of space, gaston bachelard)

the company of artists [part one]

Sunday 28 June 2009

it’s been a heady few days of artists’ exhibitions, previews and soirees.. times to flaunt with the art and flatter the artists, the opportunity to make new connections, and just very occasionally putting one’s foot in it with foolish assumptions and then having to withdraw graciously to the buffet…. places where wine and words flow… talking of nuances of surface, resonance, veils of colour, vibrations, gradations, from visual clarity to the erased and obscured, from outside to inside, of noise and silence, expansiveness and containment… i am all talked out…

open studios - the harleston waveney art trail 2009

along with the recent work i have set up in the barn for the art trail i also put on show my piece for salthouse 09. which i finally assembled in situ, neatly spacing the verticals, then later coming back to where the journey started, to the horizon… a friend said it appeared calmer that way…

salthouse 09 paintings

[saltscapes 2009]

mixed media on wood panel; shown here in previous vertical formation…