Resipole Studios are delighted to welcome back regular artists to the Summer Show as well as new artists to the gallery. Showcasing work from artists David Dipnall, Colin Woolf, Cara McKinnon Crawford and Andrew Sinclair to name a few.
Ellis O’Connor is a landscape artist working from her studio on North Uist. Since graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 2015 Ellis has undertaken numerous residency programmes, including ones in Iceland and Norway. In 2016, as part of the annual Arctic Circle Residency she was one of a group of artists who sailed around the Svalbard Archipelago in the High Arctic making work about the landscape and environment.
Ellis’s attachment to the natural environment stems from a childhood spent camping in the Highlands, and visiting family in the remote South West of Ireland where ‘the rugged and untamed beauty of the land embedded itself in my mind and has inspired me ever since.’
Like many artists, Ellis is captivated by the energy of ‘the North’.
I'm drawn to extremes, places that are raw, where the elements are unforgiving. It feels real to me and I'm fascinated by untamed lands and how they make me feel alive. Being in nature gives me perspective and it is this feeling of awe, and my own experience (of being) immersed in a wild place that I aim to put across to the viewer, so they too can feel the sheer significance of the landscape.
The dynamic energy to be seen in Ellis’s paintings is her response to observed changes in the landscape; ‘the movement and rhythms of the sea and the land … the merging of sea with air, advancing rain and mist, ever changing light - elements that seem to be about something intangible.’
In order to immerse herself in her environment, Ellis makes much of her artwork on site where extreme weather and the elements find their way into her pieces. She describes the process of working outdoors in wild weather as almost ‘performative’. When outdoors she mainly uses water-based materials such as inks, combined with charcoal, conté and lots of rain!
Some of the pieces made on paper on site become the basis for larger pieces on canvas painted back in the studio. Here, Ellis usually works with oil paint, building up the surfaces using natural substances like sand and dried seaweed.
From conveying the texture and lines of the geology of the landscape to portraying the power of the elements, Ellis O’Connor wants to enable the viewer to connect with the landscape and respect what is sacred. She sees her practice fitting within the area of contemporary land and environmental art.
In our main exhibition hall we welcome Helen Fryer with her first solo show here at Resipole Studios. Helen has been showing with us for the last 8 years and has continued to thrill us with her fabulous and unique approach to depicting both landscapes and seascapes. Over the years Helen has built up a very strong following with us and we are delighted to be bringing this collection of new works to the gallery.
Born and brought up in Cumbria, Helen left the county at the age of 18 to study Geography at Manchester University. After years living in and exploring various parts of the UK she has now returned, and has a studio in Fletchertown, the village in which she grew up. The land sandwiched between the Solway and the 'Back 'o' Skiddaw' is one she knows intimately and has been hugely influential in her work, despite initially being better known for her depictions of the west coast of Scotland.
Her landscapes are highly evocative, full of atmosphere and alive with movement. They are usually unpeopled, depicting those wild, remote places which she loves to explore. Helen has spent many hours walking, sailing, cycling and cross country skiing in all weathers. She has climbed all 284 Scottish Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) and has sailed extensively off the west coast of Scotland, all the while observing and experiencing the best and worst of British weather, which she is not afraid to express in her work.
Her language of mark making is distinctive and self taught. Initially, she works in rapid, sweeping, almost frantic movements, using her hands to apply the chalk pastel and acrylic ink. A basic image emerges very quickly, but the pace then slows and her technique becomes more considered, until the piece is compositionally and tonally balanced. The resulting work has been exhibited widely in the UK
Opening on the night of the 6th of July, 27 new works will be on show, and there will be an opportunity to meet Helen and talk with her about her inspiration, technique and approach.
A Shared Aesthetic
Keith Thomson, Rodger Insh, and Stephen French share a history. They were all at Duncan of Jordanstone college of art during the 70s and exposed to the same influences, ideas and aesthetics. Since that time Thomson, Insh, and French have each developed very successful independent practices, but have chosen to come together in this exhibition to revisit the aesthetics of their formative years in the context of their current ideas.
For digital artist Keith Thomson, Generative or Algorithmic Art is central to his working method. Here, by way of an algorithm devised by the artist, a set of procedures is generated and executed by a computer. While this may seem to negate the idea of authorship, Thomson says, ‘ … the Generative Artist … (is) now able to produce digital artworks that display a recognizable individual style.’
Rodger Insh’s contribution to the exhibition sees a shift from his more recent realistic landscapes towards the more symbolic and structured approach of earlier years. Using the Iolaire disaster off the coast of Lewis, and the World War I poetry of Wilfred Owen, Insh is interested in making ‘visual poetry’, by means of a developmental process that relies on ‘contact and engagement with the surface’.
Locally based artist, Stephen French takes his inspiration from many and varied sources, and resists the notion of an artist having one ‘voice’. Instead he tries to ‘open … up to, and appropriate, any and whatever idea takes my fancy, as many different topics, styles, genres, tropes, cultures, theologies and materials as I can find’.
We feel the visual narrative generated by the graphic aesthetic adopted by these three artists creates an exciting and thought provoking exhibition here at Resipole Studios.
Resipole Studios inaugurates their very own version of ‘Postcard Show’. Approximately two hundred postcard-sized panels by participants from across the UK will be on show in the White Gallery at this time. The ‘open-call’ project gives young children and amateur artists the chance to showcase their work alongside mid-career and established artists – a great opportunity for budding collectors to get their hands on original work for a tiny price!