Exploration 21 at FLG

I am so happy to be part of an Exhibition at Flinders Lane Gallery in July this year. It’s their annual Exploration 21 Exhibition for emerging and unsigned artists.

I’ve been working on six pieces, four are framed ready to go, two are at the framers now.

As I’ve written in my Artist Statement, I have a huge interest in capturing the raw, wild, messy aspects of what is found in our Natural world. I appreciate the imperfections and mess. I appreciate all the stages of life and growth, the bud, the blossom, the wilting. They all hold potency and importance.
My lifelong love of Early to Mid-20th Century Childrens Literature is at the centre of this exploration. These drawings are investigations into Nature as I was first drawn to experience it through Literature. It showed truth that didn’t require beautification. A childhood spent reading C.S Lewis, Tolkien and Enid Blyton (and many others but- by far- these three were the foundations) made me crave the wild. Mostly it was the landscapes, the trees, forests, the holders of magic, treasures and mystery. Even as an adult I still look for the same feeling of being a witness to something greater and more profound than ourselves which might show itself through small and overlooked objects of natural origin. Maybe it’s a feeling of reverence. That nature is holding far more secrets and wisdom than us mere humans could ever hope to know.

So here are the first four, they are drawn from the plant ‘Happy Wanderer’.

and then following on from these are two pieces drawn from the flower ‘Four O’clocks’

It has been so good to explore a concept that really appeals to me. I think I have a lot more to create with this theme, it is essentially why I want to draw. My love for those stories and how they inspire me was only cemented more by the books illustrations. (When there were any!)

Many of the illustrators from this era (and before, as in the Golden Age of Illustration) inspire me greatly. As a child reader their work was intrinsically linked with the story, but as an adult you look at the works as stand alone images.

Illustrators Ida Rentoul Outhwaite and Arthur Rackham appeal to me as much as an adult as they did when I was first seeing them as a child. My appreciation of their technique and ability to tell the story visually while still allowing the viewer to find their own treasures within each picture influences most of my own drawings. Rackham in particular manages to capture the strangeness of nature. The unpredictable.

So, with all that churning around in my mind, I drew what might capture a feeling of the wild wonder in Nature, on a small scale. Not a whole landscape or scene but a fragment. I hope I got close, and I hope to keep looking!

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