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The Relief of Spring

The winter was a while ago now yet I still can’t believe the blissful prosperity of sunshine, flowers and an abundance of green – everywhere. The result is a series of paintings emerging in the studio called, ‘The Relief of Spring’ – one features the acid yellow of oil seed Rape, others relish hot blues, greys, whites and greens – I am trying to capture the freshness and dizzying joy of colour and the luxury of warmth (Come and see them first at Open Studios on the 9 and 10 June).

The search to capture the sublime in a way that doesn’t make one want to instantly retch (at the cliche of a landscape too close to representation) continues (thank heavens for sandpaper).  The exhibition, ‘Scaling the Sublime, Art at the Limits of Landscape’ at the Djanogly Gallery, Nottingham explores the challenge of working with landscape and the sublime.   It is one of the best exhibitions I have seen in years. I soaked up Rebecca Partridge’s exquisite oil paintings of sky and am still haunted by Simon Faithful’s film showing him in a fluorescent suit tracing a sand island as the tide comes in. Eventually he is submerged and a final photo shows him seemingly swimming with no land in site. I watched the film 3 times.

This inspiration will continue to percolate.

Meanwhile the Relief of Spring series of paintings balance the tension of sensuous delight and abstraction with some semblance of representation.

View some cheeky films of work in progress: