Text from solo exhibition 'A Moment to Myself', Cole's Gallery, Leeds 2019

My focus on landscape painting is stimulated by the impermanent nature of the seasons and an interest in Biocentrism. Through oil paint, I aim to record the pulses of life emanating in the natural environment, whilst also portraying a sense of experience, memory and emotion in the colour palette and texture of the painting. By using psychogeography as a means of exploration, I am able to approach an environment with a deeper scrutiny, deconstructing the essential characteristics that draw inspiration. 

 

As an artist who is deeply affected by colour and light, the emotive approach to an environment is a continuous theme throughout my work. As emotion and colour are interdependent, I find constructing a painting through emphasised colours much more instinctive than descriptive painting. As a result, I am freed from the boundaries of realistic painting, enabling me to choose a level of resemblance and detail I feel appropriate for the mood of the work. Moreover, I have recently developed a matured colour palette, with deep browns, greens and greyish undertones which elude to genuine experience within the atmosphere depicted the painting. 

 

This exhibition includes a collection of work which focuses on themes of memory and stillness. The withdrawal of summer has brought about a new focus in skies and tricks of light, with a particular interest in colours created by the setting sun. This environment makes me feel peaceful and content, which I hope to bring forward in my paintings. To portray this, my current work consists of small, delicate landscapes which are formed through several thinly applied layers of oil and pigment. With this technical decision, I am able to create ‘misty’ or ‘foggy’ depictions of places, using both photographs and my own memories to work from. I hope this evokes a feeling of internal nostalgia for the viewer. The very nature of memory combined with the ephemerality of a certain light across a landscape adds to the suggestion of a fleeting, transient moment from the past. I hope this enhances the sensory perception of an atmosphere, creating a mindful and contemplative experience for the viewer. 

 

Whilst most of my work is painted on handmade canvases, I have left the sides of the canvas untouched, as the crisp, painted edge adds to the tangibility of the work. Consequently, some of my paintings are set in shallow display frames, exposing the unprimed sides of the canvas. The use of a smaller canvas with protruding edges contributes to the idea of a ‘framed’ atmosphere. I wish the viewer to see this as a window into an alternate infinity, evoking personal memories and emotion, transporting them away from the regimented gallery space, and into a state of mindful and physical tranquillity. 

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© Hannah Buchanan 2019