Ways of Seeing Landscape
Paintings by Martyn Brewster, Anne Davies, Jo Fox and Anthony Garratt
Furniture by Petter Southall. Sculpture and ceramics by leading artists and potters
Saturday 28 January to Sunday 4 March 2018
Four painters who see landscape in entirely different ways, each with roughly a quarter of the gallery space in Sladers Yard in an exhibition that allows the viewer to immerse themselves in one way of seeing after another.
Anthony Garratt is an experimental painter of landscape. His first show at Sladers Yard includes his first paintings of Dartmoor and the Devon coast since he and his family moved there. Anthony’s excited engagement with this wild landscape and its long history speaks in these dynamic paintings. Rushing water, dramatic skies over earth often built up with composites of rusting filings and other materials to give textured weight and authentic colour.
‘I have to feel energetic and excited to paint, otherwise it just doesn’t work,’ Garratt explains. Now in his thirties, he studied design at Chelsea School of Art and at Falmouth and worked as a designer until his painting took over. His exciting installations attract visitor and press attention. Ambitious projects have included four large outdoor canvases painted and fixed in position for a year on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly in 2014. Four on Anglesey followed in 2015. In 2016, Anthony Garratt painted two giant outdoor paintings, one high on the flanks of Mt Snowdon and one hung deep beneath the mountain in an abandoned slate cavern. The project was called High and Low. All the materials, panel and floating apparatus for the high painting were carried by hand up the mountain on the old miners’ road in reference to the history of the area. The painting was floated on a boat and left to weather in the elements.
In addition to these projects, Garratt paints for exhibition. In London he is represented by the Thackeray Gallery. Working outdoors, he is at the mercy of the elements which are liable to wash away his paint and radically change his painting, however this is part of the story of the piece of work for him. As Mary Myers put it in Country Life, ‘Anthony Garratt has taken en plein air painting to a new extreme. Happiest when the weather is wild, he regards the unpredictable effects of the elements as central to his work.’ Increasingly he is exploring the human, both political and emotional, within the landscapes he paints, alongside the nature of the paint itself. In Dartmoor, as on Snowdon, there is much evidence of abandoned human efforts and these draw Garratt’s fascination. He is interested in landscapes that emphasise the vulnerability of man. ‘Perhaps I regard adversity as a form of beauty, there is beauty in the knowledge that humans are not all powerful and in control of the planet. We are at the mercy of it. If my paintings are able to communicate that beauty, perhaps that is what I am striving for.’
Anne Davies sees landscape as patterns of colour and texture. Memory and imagination feed into her fascinating small paintings. Drawn to semi-industrialised waterfronts, west country harbours, the north of England where she grew up and the Docklands of London are the places her mind goes to when she works. She loves the idea of walking around in a picture rather like a map, discovering the different aspects of place and this is what her paintings invite the viewer’s eye to do.
Working on very smooth gessoed boards she paints blocks of colour in acrylic on a raw sienna base and then works them back, drawing into them with pencil, with a freedom of mark-making and a flair for pattern and composition. She has a strong understanding of colour, her palette tends to consist of greens, blues and yellows with sparks of pink and orange. A good deal of white creates feelings of space and light.
She draws every day, working in sketchbooks where she can be completely free, and then paints from the drawings and from photographs she has taken while out in the landscape. Her small beautifully detailed pictures draw one in to marvel at the textures and traces of underpainting that just show through, forming wonderful passages of colour and interesting lines.
Anne Davies was born in Lancashire and grew up in the Derbyshire Peak District. After studying fine art at Newcastle University, she worked on art projects with adults and children with special needs. She now lives in London where she focuses on painting and exhibiting her work, showing mainly in St Ives, London and Norfolk as well as Sladers Yard. More…
Jo Fox has been painting her intriguing sensitive paintings in her studio outside Lyme Regis since 1996. After a foundation at Exeter College of Art, she went on to study a degree in Theatre Design at Croydon College of Art and postgraduate at the National Theatre Studios followed by work as a theatre designer.
In 1996 a move to the west country, near Lyme Regis, coincided with a change from three dimensional theatre design to painting in two dimensions. Combining collage and paint, she uses textured paper and fine plaster to layer her subtle colours, building up fractured images, multiple impressions often of figures within an urban landscape. Jo Fox’s landscapes expand around the human forms expressing mood and creating tension, adding to a narrative quality that is integral to her art.
Jo’s carefully considered use of colour is particularly appealing. Mostly neutral – and beautiful – fragmented planes are interspersed with small points or lines of vivid colour. The pictures are built up from an intricate framework of enfolding, enclosing layers partly revealing and partly concealing the subject matter. They do not give up their meaning at once. Jo’s paintings take time to consider, to approach gently, unexpectedly, open-mindedly. From near and from a distance, Jo Fox’s thoughtful workmanship and skill surprise and reward the viewer. Artists who have inspired Jo’s paintings include theatre designers Tom Cairns, Antony McDonald, Hildegard Bechtler and artists Joan Eardley, Marlene Dumas and Egon Schiele.
Her paintings have been exhibited at the Beatrice Royal Gallery Eastleigh (solo show), Rowley Contemporary Art Gallery, Quantum Contemporary Art Gallery, London, RedRag Gallery, Bath, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Royal West of England Academy (RWA Annual Open Mixed Media Award 2016), the Discerning Eye Exhibition at the Mall Gallery in London (two times prize winner 2009 and 2010), NOA exhibition (2010, 2016 and 2017) and at the major Art Fairs in London and New York. This is her first show at Sladers Yard. More...
Martyn Brewster’s lyrical abstract paintings combine seductive combinations of colour with vigorous poetic compositions producing paintings and pen and ink drawings of the Dorset coast that are collected worldwide. Martyn has lived near the cliffs, open skies and beaches of Southbourne in Dorset for thirty years inspired by the natural landscape, the sea and the light as well as by colour and by the paint itself. Recently he has introduced a more neutral palette which seems to give space for his use of tone – light and dark – and of the contrasting qualities of paint which can be thick or thin, translucent or opaque, defined or free flowing. Beautifully chosen vivid colour speaks out in the quieter surround creating paintings of contemplative power and pleasure.
Martyn Brewster was born in Oxford in 1952. He studied Art and Design in Hertfordshire and Fine Art (Painting) in Brighton followed by a Postgraduate diploma in Printmaking. He has been working as a professional artist ever since with regular solo shows in museums and galleries in London and throughout the UK as well as exhibitions in USA, Canada and throughout Europe. He has won numerous awards and his work is in private, public and corporate collections worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum. Recently his work has entered the collections of Pallant House, Chichester and the Hepworth Wakefield. In London and New York he is represented by Waterhouse & Dodd. This is his second show at Sladers Yard. More…
Furniture by Petter Southall
Award-winning designer craftsman, Petter Southall has been making his distinctive furniture at his studio outside Bridport since 1991. He makes his designs by hand using an innovative combination of traditional Norwegian boat-building and fine cabinet-making techniques. Petter’s designs have a distinctive Scandinavian confidence and simplicity. He finds unique beautiful pieces of oak, ash, elm and other Northern European hardwoods, often using wood sourced from the local area to the commission. He specialises in steam bending thick solid boards into the arches, twists, curves and rings so striking in his designs. His work is built to last, using honest through-joinery and as little glue as possible. Finished with natural oils and tactile textures, his furniture is made to be used, bringing pleasure every day to the home, work place or public space.
Commissions include the directors’ dining room at the National Gallery, the boardroom for Barbican Art Gallery, reception and boardroom furniture for a number of companies and corporations in London and Norway as well as for the Bridport Town Hall. Public art seating for Cambridge Science Park, the Wessex Ridgeway Sculpture Trail, Sanctuaries for Newton Abbott and Minehead Hospitals & the Macmillan Garden at Hereford Hospital as well as many private commissions worldwide. More…
Ways of Seeing Landscape, paintings by Anthony Garratt, Anne Davies, Jo Fox and Martyn Brewster, with furniture by Petter Southall and sculpture and ceramics by leading artists and potters, is at Sladers Yard from 28 January until 4 March 2018. For more information on any of the artists above please contact Anna Powell at Sladers Yard, Contemporary British Art, Furniture & Craft, West Bay Bridport Dorset DT6 4EL t: 01308 459511 e: firstname.lastname@example.org Open: Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sundays 12 – 4pm www.sladersyard.co.uk