Art in a Cold Climate

Exhibition of work by Anne Brown, Lynda Cornwell, Rhonda Fenwick, Andy Holt, Mary Leone, Gina Martin, Inge Du Plessis & Claire Rollinson

November 17, 2011 - January 26, 2012

Consumer 1 – Battenburg, Inge Du Plessis
Siren, Inge Du Plessis
Consumer 2 – Repast, Inge Du Plessis
Tapestry, Claire Rollinson
Pink Picnic, Claire Rollinson
Untitled (Autumn Again), Claire Rollinson
Sanguisorba canadensis, Gina Martin
Monolith, Andy Holt
Journey, Andy Holt

Exhibition of work by eight artists of diverse backgrounds from the local area

Eight artists have come together in this mixed media exhibition, each one with their own unique view of the world around them. The works in the exhibition show diversity and depth with an underlying resonance that corresponds with the artists' everyday life.

From country walks, aspects of nature, religion, spirituality and consumerism we are invited to look at how each artist has experienced them and their attempts to convey these to the viewer.

As winter approaches and thoughts of Christmas keep us occupied the exhibition Art in a Cold Climate helps to remind us of warmer days, notions of other realms, the natural world and at the same time raises questions about our consumer society.

Artists Statements

Anne Brown:

A selection of sculpture and photography, recording aspects of 50 significant walks undertaken from November 2010 to November 2011.

My artwork in recent years has focused on site-specific sculpture and installations linked to significant places and environments from travels around the wild areas in the UK and abroad. I use photography to capture transient work made from a variety of natural and found materials. I also create more lasting sculptural works and installations from both natural and man-made materials in response to my ephemeral pieces.

Lynda Cornwell:

My main artistic practice is drawing and installation, sometimes with found objects and often using light.

Last year I took part in  Hide! a project based at College Lake Nature Reserve near Tring. My task was to refurbish a bird hide and introduce artwork. Knowing nothing much about birds at the start of the project my first step was to start drawing them, endlessly. I made over 200 drawings of birds. The drawings exhibited here are taken from that series.

The finished installation in Tump Hide was inspired by the way that we, and animals, see. Birds, and many other animals, perceive a greater/different visible spectrum. Most birds are tetrachromats, which means they have an extra cone  ultraviolet - that allows them to distinguish 100 times more colours than we do.

Rhonda Fenwick:

My work is concerned with the creation of a sublime world that manifests in an ephemeral space between an art object and a spectator's experiencing of it; where art works come into being through the 'play' of others. How a work of art may come into 'being' through imagination, and also relates to our connectedness to Nature and how we interact socially with the world around us.

Through play and imagination we can create spaces, places and worlds. We can re-connect through our feelings and responses to the sacredness of our lives and our relationships with self, others, objects and the spaces we inhabit.

My practice is explorative and experimental, working across media, through the mediums of painting, drawing, film, photography, combined media installation, environmental art, text and dance.

Andy Holt:

Growing up in the North West of England, a stones throw from the Pennines, I loved to walk the canals and hills around Bollington and Pott Shrigley in Cheshire and it was here that my passion for art began. With youthful zeal I would face all weathers to take my sketchbook and venture into the countryside; I fondly recall standing knee deep in a snowy field, using the snow as it fell to create a bleak pastel landscape.

In my time as an art teacher I have taught many different approaches to art but with this latest work of my own it has been a conscious effort to forget the constraints of public exams and return to a more expressive, child-like and instinctive way of working. These works are loosely based on my many visits to Ashridge, near Berkhamstead but are actually an accumulation of memories of many places over an extended period of time.

Mary Leone:

These 3 works are taken from sketches done on site at Bachelors Acre in Windsor. They are a triptych in that they complete a circle of movement. I sat for many hours watching my own child play in and out of the water with the other children there year after year.† To pass the time I sketched. I found that although it seemed impossible at first to capture the movement as they all ran about, it didn't matter. I learned to watch and observe with a keen eye, and only drawing†after long observation of the subject .I found that there were certain movements that were common and over a period of years I had enough information to make a synthesis of the scene. There is no†identity of the children in the pictures as they are of many children who came and went in those summer days while my child was growing up. The games played were the same over and over again. I wanted to capture the vitality, the sense of fun and the feeling of bright sunlight, which reminded me of my own happiest memories of my childhood. The subject of the painting is really Childhood and the pure innocent joys that go with it.

I studied drawing under Sir William Coldstream at Camberwell School of Art in the 70's and the best advice he gave me was to look and observe the subject far longer than actually drawing. I have exhibited since 2008 in the open house part of the Windsor Festival Fringe.

Gina Martin:

Gina works mainly in wood and with natural  found objects, both in the studio and site-specifically, in the environment. Winter treetop forms at Black Park Country Park inspire the 3 composite photographic images and the Lime woodcarving is the initial one of a series, based on plant forms.

Inge Du Plessis:

In the series of paintings, titled, The Consumers, I wanted to deal with the very rich and complex relationship between women and food.

There is so much more to this relationship than the familiar anxieties most women experience regarding the amount we consume and the relative size of our bodies.

My interest lies too with women as the providers of food and the amount of time and energy we commit to acquiring food, thinking about the food we buy and the quality of the food we buy, always planning meals, creating comfort and wellbeing in our homes and families with food. Feeling whole when the larder is full and we acquired well, and enough.

The presentation of food and the many emotional roles it fulfils has also become more and more prominent in the media in the last decade  from television shows and food advertising to desirable cookbooks and magazines and even in store marketing - the images close-up; tangible, real, wholesome. The message  if we surround ourselves and our families with food, beautiful food, we too will be whole, and loved.

I painted the sitters first and the food at a later stage, attempting to create an emotional distance and tension between the woman and the food in front of her.

Claire Rollinson:

Claire Rollinson has recently moved back to England after living in Northern Ireland. Her art practice includes the disciplines and expressions of drawing, painting, and printmaking with an element of storytelling running throughout.