Thursday, 16 October 2008

From the Landscape 2008, Naughton Gallery, Queen's University, Belfast

From the Landscape
The Naughton Gallery at Queen's
Queen's University, Belfast
Catalogue Essay by SB Kennedy
May 2008

The works in this exhibition were painted between 2005 - 2008 and are based on observations of light falling on the hard-edged profile of an unused concrete sill. The paintings are executed in acrylic wash on primed linen and are deeply influenced by the atmosphere around my studio.
I'm interested in the energy of the Fermanagh countryside and want to get across a feeling of calm, of solitude and stillness. Looking over the fields, the lake, and the islands, it is clear that there is more to the whole thing than is first visible. In my paintings, I want to create a carapace of light and texture that vibrates, that gets across the spirituality of the landscape.

Titles of Work :

Concrete Form
Acrylic on Linen
96 x 122 cm

I started this painting using several layers of titanium white with a light mix of blue, to create a cool space full of depth. The initial layers in painting the concrete form were of cadmium yellow, followed by several layers of mid-grey, allowing the underpainting to show through. The cadmium yellow ground lifts the form off the canvas to give an architectural / sculptural element.

Concrete Form with Pink and Yellow
Acrylic on Linen
60 x 80 cm

This painting is based on one of the exterior walls of my studio, a large concrete structure, so the experience is of looking out at the world from a concrete block rather than looking at one.

Concrete Form with Two Purples
Acrylic on Linen
60 x 80 cm

Recent paintings are moving towards an architectural framework. More emphasis is placed on the structure and the spacing of the colour columns. Colours are forced together. The sharp, narrow white line is inspired by the aluminium glazing bar of my studio door. Looking out across the landscape, this narrow band of metal catches the white light, accentuating the contrast of colours in the landscape.

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