Monday, 20 February 2012

New faces!

All change this weekend! From today we have 2 new artists in the shop, I'll start with the awesome Nicolas Waters! In his own words . . . . Born 1947 – Brought up Lancs, Yorks, Lincs. Finally settled down aged 50 to a career as a linguist having for many years careered as a non-linguist around England, then the continent, in search of proximity to mountains and wild places - the only places where you can hear yourself think. Discovered oil-painting upon opening a Christmas present of paint tubes in 2004, thus simultaneously discovering the ultimate way to communicate.
I can’t remember how many years I’ve been daring myself out onto our wildest uplands, knowing on each occasion that  I’ll end up hurrying across those dark and blustery sky-lines like a man pursued by demons, aware that something absolutely immense and ancient is already out there, presumably working on some never -ending project.

What’s more, despite the overwhelming majesty of that ‘Presence’, I sometimes feel that it is not entirely benign. Everywhere I find walls that have crumbled, or barns that have collapsed and turned as black-hearted as the clouds that stalk overhead, and from time to time I come across some soft young rabbit inexplicably disassembled into a spray of tiny, fine teeth, a ribcage and scattered fur, or the wreckage of a heavy-coated sheep that has mysteriously ’been tipped over’ in the marsh to soak quietly under, legs up.

 I am driven to respect the innocent courage of the creatures that inhabit these unvisited places, living with the fogs and frosts, the wind-blown sleet, the silent, heavy snow, and the days of steady rain.  And they must wait out every black night, whether in unbroken silence, or blasted by the storm. I love them all for bearing it so patiently, and, deep down, I think I covet their animal durability.

So in fact I don’t think I set out to paint landscapes for their beauty at all. Each composition is really an attempt to capture and convey an awareness and respect for that ‘Presence’, as well as my love and respect for the creatures in it, who know no other world.
Two dreadfully over-looked art movements of the very late 1800s contain at least five geniuses at portraying the moods I would love to portray; The Hague School [Holland], particularly Anton Mauve,  Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch and Jacob Maris; The Itinerants [Russian: The Peredvizhniki] especially Isaak Levitan and Ivan Shishkin. They are truly worth looking up; there was a lot more than Impressionism going on at that time.

Perhaps, paradoxically, by presenting only the wild world, my efforts really amount to one long howl; I’m begging homo-sapiens to remember the whole, natural planet, to regain his fear, love and respect for it, and not to sleep-walk any further into a homo-centric,  urban-centred, vehicle-dependent, tarmac-based, grass-phobic, silicon-nourished, screen-focussed, data-fixated,  learning-phobic, commercially-manipulated, gratification-fed, sensation-driven, resource-ravenous,  unsustainable... virtual world.
We also have another artist exhibiting from today, but so far, i have little information about her - however, here's a taster!
Her name is Jenny Westbrook, and her work is very different from anyone else we have in the shop at present, hope you come in and enjoy it!

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