Interim: A Virtual Exhibition

A series of five large abstract paintings to be presented in an online exhibition at Edgar Modern, August 2014


4 August - 4 September, 2014

Interim_ A Virtual Exhibtion
Odyssey
oil on canvas
161 x 130 cm (Not For Sale)

The physical scale of these five canvases gave me a chance to experiment in my abstract genre and explore the freedom of gestural painting. I was keen to explore colour and form, working intuitively to see where this would lead. The subconscious self reveals itself in mysterious ways. Mood and circumstance cannot be hidden. An autobiographical statement is made, laid bare, which then must be interpreted along the way and as the painting speaks and develops, a narrative builds.

‘Odyssey’ was the first of five, its inspiration and influences are strikingly obvious. A small and poignant exhibition of a few of Alan Davie’s work was on show at Tate Britain. I made a special journey from west Penwith to see these in the flesh. Very sadly he had just died, and the tribute of white roses were fading in the gallery, in memoriam. I wanted to make my own journey on my canvas, explore new realms, colours and marks, which would elucidate what I would go on to paint on the remaining four.

The apparent disparate elements of ‘Odyssey’ are drawn together by their inherent free mark making and vibrant colours, creating a dream-like state. Randomly placed and juxtaposed, they begin to tell the story of a journey. Such a large scale inspired a desire to create an abstract language that communicates gesture and emotion. I am transported to a foreign land, a land of painters and philosophers where ideas are born, mingle, and improvisation is foremost.

Dialogue
Dialogue
oil on canvas
161 x 130 cm


‘Dialogue’ came second. The organic triangular shapes, (I seem to have always avoided diagonals until now) emerge from the right hand side of the canvas and spread themselves generously as if crying out into a void, and yet forming a dialogue as they wander. This distinctive shape has been one that has recurred in subsequent paintings, including the third, ‘Trefusis’.

  Arioso
Arioso
oil on canvas
161 x 130 cm


We are then taken skywards to an airier space. ‘Arioso’ has a lighter, more diffuse air, the pale palette suggesting sky, travel, freedom and clouds. The pale sapphire clover motif is a dominant force and demands complete attention over the whole picture. The whole painting sings its song, like an aria. Its pure lyrical tune soars on high.

  Basin
Bassin
oil on canvas
130 x 161 cm


And so, back down to ground or rather, pool. In ‘Bassin’ the mossy greens nurture similar shapes as they emerge in a more defined way. The finished effect took me back to an old garden bassin that I swam in as a teenager, in the garden of a beautiful French house set in a private sub-tropical garden on the outskirts of Toulon. The stone square pool was rich in flora and fauna, frogs and fish, lilies and weed, with a statue and fountain in the middle. Shallow, yet so shady and deeply refreshing in the midsummer heat, the idyllic pool replenished and cooled our young hot blood and souls in its timeless beauty.

Henrietta Dubrey, August, 2014