Hello, In this studio chat I am going to share some details about my forthcoming joint exhibition: Landscape Inside Out at Gallery Oldham in a Q and A format. I hope you enjoy it.
What is the Landscape Inside Out exhibition about specifically?
It’s a show of artwork inspired by our local landscapes here in the NW UK, an old mill town Mossley and its Saddleworth surroundings: moors, woods and the valleys between. The exhibition showcases our work on location and our finished paintings for sale. I use mixed media in my work to try to capture that elusive ‘sense of place’, not a single view but my feelings for the places. Textures and marks that reflect the language of the places are important aspects of my work. Hugh’s oil paintings are more representative, capturing the light and the colours. Together we aim to bring the atmospheric feelings of the landscapes back into the gallery.
When and where is the Landscape Inside Out exhibition?
The exhibition starts this week with an open Preview on Saturday 05th March at 2 pm (I do hope you can make it if you are local). The exhibition continues until 04th June 2022. It is in Gallery 2 of Gallery Oldham in the Cultural Quarter and is free entry. The Gallery is open 10 am-5 pm Tuesday to Saturday.
There is parking and the tram station is opposite the gallery. You can get more detail here.
Why is it called landscape inside out?
The title for this exhibition is based partly on the way we explore our surrounding landscapes. We create drawings and paintings, out on location, as a basis for studio work. Our outside studies form a direct connection with our experiences.
The artwork for the exhibition was created from early 2020 onwards, during the Covid pandemic. This impacted the overall remit of the exhibition and gave it a more local and intimate focus. It inspired a more thorough exploration of the landscapes on foot, in different weathers and seasons, and from different viewpoints. But because of that uncertain time, there was a feeling of unease, such as you get with something being the wrong way around-Inside out!
How many paintings do you have in the exhibition?
Between us we have 70 paintings on show. 38 of them are mine and range in size from 20 cm to 80 cm (most are medium/large)! A small number are on paper and framed behind glass. The rest are on cradle panel, board or canvas and are framed in float frames. The paintings are mixed media, including paint, pencil, pastel and collage paper.
What else will be on show in the exhibition?
We are keen to show the processes behind our work rather than just finished paintings. Therefore, we will be showing sketchbooks and drawings and paintings done on location. There is also a film about the development of the work created by our photographer friend Kiran Mistry.
How has the exhibition enabled your work to develop?
Having an exhibition deadline during the pandemic has given me a much needed focus and got me out and connected more with the countryside around me. It has enabled me to develop my study techniques both on location and back in the studio. It has also encourage me to paint bigger and in multiple series. That ability to work on multiple paintings and to have to finish them (and on occasion battle with them!) has really helped my work-It has helped me realise the need to develop a dialogue with the paintings rather than imposing my will on them! Finally, it has helped my journaling processes (writing about my work), giving me ways of unpicking what it is I am interested in portraying in my paintings.
What do you hope people take away from the art work?
I hope that people experience the atmospheric feelings of the landscape and being out in those places from our work. I hope that it encourages visitors to perhaps get out into the countryside more themselves. Or if, they already do, to notice what they notice when they are out. Perhaps even picking up a pencil and paper! Most of all, I hope the paintings resonate with visitors and remind them of special places & seasons.
What are you most proud of?
That’s a difficult one! Aside from the paintings themselves! I’m proud of the fact that I felt the fear and just carried on! I hadn’t ever done anything of this scale before (there is a feeling of bearing your soul!) Therefore, I did what I do when I’ve no idea what I’m doing-jumped in and just tried to navigate my way through it the best I could-with some planning, but not too much!. Perhaps slightly more riskily, I documented it all on my YouTube channel!
What has been your biggest challenge?
I think it’s been that juggling between creating the paintings vs. all the many non-painting elements of putting on an exhibition of this type. Some of the logistics challenges have been driven by the pandemic (e.g., supplies of materials). But then, no sooner do you think you are getting there with the paintings, other things really need attention including layout of the gallery; paintings display; Text to tell the story of the work; social media plans; promotion and marketing etc etc.!! On the positive side, I have learnt so much!!
What else will you be sharing about the exhibition?
In the next Studio Chat I will be sharing a rather special walk and talk with The Countryfile magazine and podcast editor! I will also be sharing more about the paintings and the stories and approaches behind them.
To stay in touch, get key reminders about the exhibition and workshops as well as hear about new work please sign up to my mailing list:
Thanks so much for being here! I really appreciate your support and hope you can follow along with the exhibition through my social posts/online calls as well as in person if you are local/can travel! And if you need more information on any of the paintings, just get in touch!