Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Although my own self-expression comes through the figurative, I am both inspired by and attracted to landscape art.  How it filters through I'm not sure, and frankly it is not something I now spend too much time thinking about.  As with the abstracts, I just enjoy the art.  It's all a question of emotional triggers and recognitions, and perhaps a more relaxed appreciation because there is no element of competition.
Vanessa Gardiner's work has attracted me before, so I was immediately drawn to the familiarity of her Harbour Coast.  But I find that although the attraction renews itself on initial impact, it does fade relatively soon, and it is only when I have not come across her work for a while that I am drawn to it.  I really greatly prefer her drawings to her paintings.
In a different way, I find that Norman Ackroyd's etchings appeal to me most when seen in groups.  So I was delighted to find his Galapagos series hung together in a grid of images. 

Prints constituted the majority of the landscapes which appealed to me at the Summer Exhibition, including those of Jason Hicklin, Rora Head, Hoy seen below
and Barbara Rae's Feasgar
and Emma Stibbon's Lead II, and her other pieces which can be seen by scrolling down on the link
and Jeremy Gardiner's Worbow Bay, Isle of Purbeck, April
and Iona Howard's Goonhilly Downs - I was beginning to notice a repeated attraction to the effects of carborundum.
Charlie Waite's Orgiva, Spain from a distance looked a pleasant arrangement of trees, but a closer examination showed what a wondrous photograph it is, the trees sculptural with a kind of patterned background of distant scrub, and the dancing blossoms all over, bringing lightness above a glorious curve of earth.
Merlyn Chesterman's Atlantic Roller brought together my love of waves/the sea, woodcuts, and that horizontal format when so obviously appropriate. I am sorry that I've been unable to find a larger image.  Here is her website.
Another horizontal woodcut is Julian Meredith's Itchen River System.  This appealed to me also because the Itchen is not far from us, and a late very good friend and former colleague had her office magically and memorably right on the banks of that river. 
A strangely wondrous print, made more intriguing by being hung high in such a way that it is not immediately obvious that it is not just landscape is Catherine Greenwood's Silbury Treasure.

One work which is both print and book not only attracted me, but once more frustrated my curiosity.  I always want to turn those pages, and am not wholly content to settle for the double page spread shown. 
Hilary Powell's Legend: An A-Z of the Lea Valley looks beautiful open at P (although pictured here at D - perhaps they turn the page every day), and I found my curiosity more than simply satisfied on her website.  There is a vimeo film which shows each page beautifully.  A quote on the web page sums it up beautifully: "It's an amazing archive as well as an exquisite object." 

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