Friday, 6 November 2009

Christmas Show 2009

Our Christmas Show starts on November 19th and we have 5 fabulous artists on view. Their work delivers the usual variety and quality, each with a dedicated zone in the gallery. We have yet another new media in the form of 'light painting', which compliments oil paintings, sculpture and video.

The artists on show are:
  • Jimmy Galvin
  • Amber Merrick-Potter
  • Beth Carter
  • Harriet White
  • Alec Jackson
During this show we also celebrate our one year anniversary. It doesn't seem like a year since our open evening and we've enjoyed a wonderful time building relationships with artists and art lovers. We have a few events planned during the show and of course the first one is the private view. If you are registered with us then you'll automatically receive an email invitation. If not then sign-up now.

December is always a manic time so we'll be opening the occasional late night and having goodies on offer to make the shopping process more enjoyable. Even if you're not buying and just fancy a bit of tranquility in the company of amazing art, music and a mince pie, then you are very welcome.

Full details of the art and artists profiles will soon be on the website, but for now, here's a sneak preview of some of the artwork to wet your appetite.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Dancing with Amber

I first encountered Amber Merrick-Potter at her MA show in Bath. My initial engagement with her work was very physical. I found myself moving in and out of her paintings and then from side to side, slowly at first and then with some urgency as I discovered more exciting textures, tones and shapes. This exploratory dancing with her work is not an unusual reaction for Amber to enjoy watching.

I looked over my shoulder and realised she was heavily engaged with an audience. Her performance, as she was discussing her work, was not unlike the animation I was experiencing as I viewed her paintings. Her physical and verbal expression when describing her work is full of the same freedom that can be seen in her composition and application of paint.

It didn't take me long to decide to approach Amber to exhibit at View. After seeing more of her work at another show the following week, and a visit to the gallery, we agreed to allocate our largest space to her new paintings. To this point I was enjoying Amber's work on an aesthetic level and through my own imagination to interpret the multi-layered images. Then we sat down and talked about Amber.

As with many artists, it is often easier for them to talk about their work rather than themselves, and Amber is no exception. She described the importance of the process of painting being more important than the subject matter. Amber has a strong connection with nature and her subject starts with a landscape theme. The palette and materials are loosely planned and the composition evolves as she applies the paint from her imagination. She explores the imagery through the process and is often in a semi-conscious state. This trance-like approach allows her to watch the the movement of colour, texture and shape in a fluid motion. Amber becomes so engaged with the process that she is often surprised by the output and enjoys a symbiotic relationship as creator and viewer. She describes painting as an obsession and a drug, with none of the downsides.

The physical environment Amber works in reflects the abandonment she experiences in the painting process. Her studio is a mess, she is covered head to toe in paint, and there is no start and end to a day. Amber speaks about her work with great passion and enthusiasm. She displays a child-like excitement and also an innocent vulnerability, particularly when describing her early years of engaging with nature.

As a child, Amber could be found foraging for unusual plant life, exploring their dangerous or healing properties. She would pick pants based on their perfume, colour and texture; the more unusual her findings, the more excited she would be. Even now she enjoys describing the effects of plants that appear in her work, especially the fatal ones.

It is this combination of nature inspired source with abandoned painting process that creates a unique object of desire that encourages exploration... and dancing!

Visit our website to see a selection of Amber's paintings.