It's here! The virtual preview for this year's solo show at the Torrance Gallery is about to open. So I thought this would be a good moment to resuscitate this blog and tell you a little bit about it..
It’s everything I have to say. It’s about the solace of the sea, about the solitude we have all craved or hated in the last couple of years, about those moments; night, dawn, dusk or day; when you walk in the natural world and are just overwhelmed by the beauty, by the calm, the stillness. And for a moment, everything just - stops.
For this show, I wanted to do something a little more considered, measured and curated than my usual habit of just throwing together everything I've worked on for previous months. In short, I wanted to create a body of work.
But this was NOT the way I normally work - my usual method is to pitch up in the studio and paint something that responds to what I've seen on my beach walk that morning, or in the week before without any thought about how it relates to other pieces. The heart and soul of my work has always been a response to my immediate environment, and I enjoy the freshness and spontaneity of working like that. To set out to make 40 pieces that related to each other, attempting to create a cohesive series, felt very alien to me - I spent a long time mulling it over and trying to figure out an approach ( almost too long, I was in danger of running out of time)
In the end, it was one wee painting that became the guiding light. I woke up at 4 one morning and unable to get back to sleep, headed down to the studio. 'Insomnia' was the
result, a 50 x 50 cm nocturne that I absolutely loved painting. So much that I couldn't stop painting and before I knew it I had ten pieces in prussian blue and umber, an homage to the velvety stillness of the sea at night.
'Night is for the Wild hunt. Darkly thrilling, velvety blackness, illicit and unknow. Butterflies, anything might happen, everything and nothing will. Alive with the sound of the waves and the absence of us'
(Insomnia isn't in the show though, it got snatched up by one of my favourite collectors.. So here is Night Light, that IS in the show)