Luke Elwes

Luke Elwes

Igniting Sight

contemporary artists inspired by JMW Turner

new paintings by Fred Cuming RA, Luke Elwes, Vanessa Gardiner, Frances Hatch Janette Kerr PPRWA RSA Hon Alex Lowery

furniture by Petter Southall pottery by Richard Batterham

Saturday 6 July until Sunday 8 September 2019

This summer, while JMW Turner’s painting, ‘Bridport, Dorsetshire,’ is showing at Bridport Museum, we celebrate Turner in Bridport by exploring the ways in which his influence lives on in contemporary landscape painting, particularly in the work of six artists, all of whom to some extent belong in the great descriptive English Romantic tradition which began with Turner’s truly great paintings.


Confluence by Luke Elwes
91 x 183 cm oil on canvas

Artist Luke Elwes writes: ‘Some years ago I chose Turner’s “Evening Star” for an Artist’s Eye talk at the National Gallery, a work that remains a touchstone, as it has done for other painters: Rothko studied it and Sean Scully made it the starting point for his current exhibition “Seastar”. It shares with much of Turner’s later work a provisional quality, in which a luminous field composed of sea and sky apparently draws on a particular moment and place yet remains timeless and open ended. It is an elemental space, animated by Turner’s “weather” and illuminated with a fiery radiance.’

‘Luminous fields composed of sea and sky,’ describes the subject matter of Luke Elwes’ own work very beautifully. Whether they are watercolour studies he made at sunrise on the banks of the Ganges, or different waters closer to home, his paintings seem to ripple with reflected light and dappled shade below hazy indistinguishable horizons. Luke Elwes shows regularly throughout the UK.

Luke Elwes’ paintings are shown below. Please click on an image to see the details and contact the gallery for prices.

Luke Elwes’ method of working gives rise, he says, to a mood of reverie. Thinking about climate change, water shortages or floods, the power of the river to give and to take, he makes his gentle marks with rich colours and areas of emptiness. These he dissolves and floats, sometimes with river water or oil paint thinners which he allows to trickle or flow across his paper or canvas. The results seem to reflect light, inviting us to look into them quietly as if they were pools of water.

Luke Elwes studied history at Bristol University and painting at Camberwell Art School, followed by an MA in Art History at Birkbeck College, London University. He travels extensively, discovering and revisiting remote locations in India, Asia Minor and North Africa. In 1998 he was artist in residence on an expedition to Mount Kailash, a holy mountain in western Tibet. Since 2000 he has worked for long periods on an island off the East Coast of the UK. In 2011 he gave his ‘Artist’s Eye’ talk at the National Gallery. He also writes about contemporary art for journals including Modern Painters, Royal Academy Magazine, Galleries Magazine and Abstract Critical.com. In 2013 he was awarded a grant to study at the Vermont Studio Center and in 2015 he was resident artist at the Albers Foundation (USA). His work is in collections in the UK, USA and Europe. He exhibits regularly in London and internationally.

Please let us know on gallery@sladersyard.co.uk or telephone 01308 459511 if you would like to enquire about any of Luke Elwes’ new work.

3 Responses to Luke Elwes

  1. Pingback: Luke Elwes Talk Saturday 3 November 12 noon | Sladers Yard

  2. Pingback: Currents opens tomorrow! | Sladers Yard

  3. Pingback: Currents | Autumn 2018 - Luke Elwes

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