Sunday, 31 October 2010

'Here and Now' exhibition preview

Celebrating two years in the life of View, we welcome back four of our most popular and successful artists with new collections especially for our show.

There is a dichotomy in the meaning behind the show's title. On the one hand, 'Here and Now' boldly suggests that, for these emerging artists, their time has come. They will be enjoying their second or third show at View and have enjoyed continued rave reviews and commercial success.

There is also a contrary meaning to the title, where the artists appear to go to another time or place to seek inspiration for their work. Whether it be a historical place, an inner retrospection, or pure fantasy, they take you away from here and now before returning with something new to reflect upon.

The name Beth Carter is now synonymous with 'collectable' as she has developed a large following of her instantly recognisable creatures in beautiful sculptures and drawings. Beth introduces new characters in both media for this show and the imagination and quality continues to be stunning.

The stories in Catherine Knight's faceless landscapes conjure up numerous personal images where the past meets the present. Her personal relationship with the history of the subject brings a real and haunting quality to the delicate painting. Click here for video.

There seems to be no limit to the depth of thought and emotion in the self portraiture of Fran Williams. This new collection of paintings provide the next stage of an autobiographical journey of personal expression through her art.

Amber Merrick-Potter wears her artistic heart on her sleeve. She describes her paintings with the same passion that oozes through the vibrant colour and abandonment of brushstroke in her painting. Each piece is an emotional roller-coaster in its production, evidenced by the depth of layers, textures and composition. Click here for video

These very different artists create work of unique beauty that initiate intriguing stories and stimulate deep emotion. The art is also immediately accessible and has stunning aesthetic quality that grabs your intention and draws you in before capturing the imagination.

The relationship with the art that follows provides a longevity that belies its inanimate form. As I write this blog, I look across at my Minotaur Reading sculpture and paintings by these artists... my mind wanders into other times and places before returning to here and now with a new experience.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sylvie Broussine - Art Commentator

Sylvie Broussine visits View and comments on the 'Dreaming Out Loud' exhibition.

In this latest exhibition View Art Gallery has combined five artists who, in very different ways, come together to convey their own interpretations of the sub-conscious and inner workings on the mind. The beauty of an exhibition like this is that whilst walking around, new perspectives and forms shoot out at you unexpectedly.

Take the artist Damian Daly for instance. His enigmatic, detailed piece ‘Fall of the Rebel Angels’ was at first something I saw as uplifting. I felt he was conveying a modern pseudo-religious piece using a mystical world as his subject. It wasn’t until closer inspection that I realised Daly had created what I felt to be a modern apocalyptic scene, not dissimilar to the hell-ish pieces of Hieronymus Bosch in the late fifteenth century. Suddenly, my understanding was challenged, and rather than the dream-like quality I had originally read, I felt something more nightmarish in its place.

Daly’s work constantly demands our attention when we are stood in front of it. In this piece he plays around with patterns, creating the illusion of symmetry in a work that might be better described as ‘organised chaos’. The colours he chooses for the background depict a calm, heavenly scene, whilst the more sinister black and red ‘Rebel Angels’ spiralling around the piece work to change it into something more restless. I feel this art is the perfect example of what this exhibition is all about. This image makes real the multiple layers that lie within our sub-conscious and only comes out during dreams. Just as our sleep can bring confused thoughts and feelings to the surface, so does Daly’s art on canvas.

Another example of Daly’s work where this is apparent is ‘Secret Sisters’, a multi-panelled large scale drawing, sectioned into twelve separate boards. When first appreciating the work, I reacted strongly to the appearance of a wolf-like animal centred between the two girls on either side, their hair forming a collar for the beast. It wasn’t until I read the title that the symmetrical, dancing adolescents appeared to me. By virtue of this doubled layered effect, the creature in the middle evokes a more sinister side to the piece. In fact Daly claims the creature is not necessarily a wolf, but as with all his work, this depends on the interpretation given by his audience; perhaps the fact that I noticed it before the two girls says more about my sub-conscious than anything else.

The power of the piece is emphasized by the black and white, graphite form of the work. Whilst speaking to other viewers it becomes apparent that the numerous possible perspectives, along with Daly’s clear talent, make his work truly interesting. Rather than give you any detail about the various interpretations of this, or any of his other work on show at View, I feel Daly’s work is best appreciated via your own analysis, not to be mislead by anyone else’s. With an exhibition focused on our inner thoughts and feelings, viewing this art is very much a personal experience, and viewers are encouraged to develop their own understandings. So rather than me tell you more, I think it is better for you to go visit and experience it for yourself.

Sylvie Broussine