Our Pop-Up exhibition, Ordinary Worlds, at Creake Abbey showed a selection of new and recent paintings and works on paper by six Norfolk artists, from 10 to 23 August, 2018.
Ordinary Worlds was an exhibition of six women artists who share a common interest in representing landscape and interpreting the topographic in their work – each artist shows how we might compose landscape to suit our outlook rather than merely reflect upon a visual likeness or land use. Between them, what they depict is anything but ordinary.
Pigment stains drawn on cave walls have revealed how we once imagined landscapes populated by the creatures we hunted to survive. This early human trait of conceiving a landscape in our imagination still holds a powerful influence upon us to the present day. Technology has helped artists find new, previously unimagined possibilities for depicting the environment and altering the ways in which they represent landscape pictorially. They have embraced imaging software among more traditional means of describing our world, without reducing it to banal certainties.
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MORE ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Pandora Mond’s circular canvases are of worlds far beyond our own. As Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residency in the Astrophysics Department at Exeter University, Mond worked along side Professor Isabelle Baraffe and her team, who are pursuing pioneering research into Exoplanets. Optically out of bounds, these far-off celestial bodies have been beautifully imagined by Mond in painted form, interpreted from conversations with the physicists and based upon the data generated by the department’s research.
Joni Smith enhances and re-imagines the perceptual mapping out of a landscape on paper, playfully using collage and cutting techniques to create new associations between different map locations. Her paper constructions are perfectly re-formed on the page, knowing just how far to go in breaking down the satellite accuracy of GPS in modern map-making to open up potential for her alternate interpretation. Impeccably handcrafted, Smiths work encompasses drawing, paper cutting, painting installation and sculpture.
Several of the artists have turned their attention to a named point of reference, like a stretch of water or geographical location. Linda Jamieson responds to landscape with an emotional intensity that encapsulates its features, headlands and bays, fences and tracks. Her landscapes are often from a bird’s eye view. Jamieson finds forms within the rise and fall of the land, using overlapping jewel colours to describe a meadow or stream, as if laid out on a quilt.
Amanda Sutton creates coastal landscapes on glass, using techniques she has developed from Verre églomisé. This is a term employed by French sign writers who create highly decorative shop and café signs using mirror. Encompassing several techniques that include etching, applying metal leaf, painting the backs of mirrors, Sutton uses the warmth of distressed gold and silver leaf to impart the fleeting tonal lighting and reflective qualities of sea, sky and coastal flats.
Lorraine Bewick hones in on the barely visible in her seascapes and landscapes. She uses thin veils of paint to describe the way a cloud sits on the horizon, using shards of thicker paint in other areas that harness our sense of doubt about something solid, which distance turns into an intangible feature, like a partially submerged sand bar or a wreck.
Andrea Girling embraces the tradition of landscape in the Romantic period, re-working original 18th and 19th century engravings. An engraving of the Corra Lynn Waterfall on the River Clyde is her starting point. The falls were painted by JMW Turner circa 1840. By alternating between digital imaging and freehand drawing technique, Girling makes her process part of the final drawn image. Each drawing takes weeks to prepare, meticulously built up, including the faults incurred during its development to create something slowly and entirely new. Operating somewhere within the boundaries of deliberation and accident, Girling completes the circle between the idealised nature of her source material and the finished image.