Joy Green, Trish Shaw, Caroline Thompson and Gillian Elliott take a closer look at the moors and coast. They explore the traces of industrial archaeology, seeing how it has shaped the landscape - and how nature is claiming the landscape back.
Joy Green is a Fine Art landscape artist who enjoys painting monumental landscapes. Walking allows her to get to know the landscape and its underlying geology – the key to understanding the land and exploring its past.
For her latest exhibition, Joy has spent months exploring the North York Moors’ hidden industrial past, both sketching and gathering ideas for pieces which she then develops back in the studio.
Using a limited colour palette enhances the dramatic effect of her paintings, while the colours she uses are dictated by the very colours of the rocks she walks upon. Joy paints using watercolour and textures, and often incorporates elements of the landscape into her work.
I am fascinated by geology, how it determines the fate of our landscape, and shapes and forms the land. The history of this exploited land can be traced through the archaeology of the industrial landscape. It is this transitory and dynamic landscape that creates a very special sense of place.
Trish Shaw specialises in working with paper, specifically the technique of paper-cutting. Her work uses specially imported paper, cut by hand with blades and knives – a direct, tactile method of paper-cutting that is key to Trish’s images.
A simple slip of the blade can ruin many hours’ work, and it’s this element of risk – and the contemplative aspect to paper-cutting – that makes the work very personal to her.
For her latest exhibition Trish placed herself physically in the landscape, to see and feel the layers of history, and to learn the stories that the landscapes reveal.
The revealing of hidden layers through cutting is important to Trish. As she says, “the use of the hand to incise and mark the paper parallels the manmade actions that scar and cut the environment”.
Gillian Elliott collects objects.
Often these are simple, worn and humble forms that might otherwise be overlooked. For Gillian, their beauty lies in their imperfections – the surface marks that record the passing of life and time.
Made from natural materials, and shaped by the elements, the objects instil a sense of Wabi-sabi, an aesthetic rooted in the principles of Zen. By studying them closely, Gillian can gain a sense of how they were formed and shaped, and how they are changing over time. No longer small and insignificant, they take their place in the universe, where all matter has come from nothing and will eventually return to the same state.
Through the medium of paint I explore the essence of objects on canvas in an abstract and expressionistic way.
I pour, spray, scratch and mark the surface, allowing pigment to react in a partly controlled but often random way. Marks are formed and reformed through repeated layering – echoing the layers of time it has taken to form the objects themselves. Sometimes I add materials that will themselves change over time, such as tar or ink, thus adding to the sense of impermanence.
The fascination in creating these paintings comes from allowing pigment to flow and interact, and being able to observe new forms being created. Coming from a scientific background, I am particularly interested in matter and the formation of the universe.
My aim is to portray a sense of uncertainty and flux in my paintings, which seem to start with almost nothing and – through repeated changes and layering – seem to end in just about everything.
Caroline Thompson’s family has lived in North Yorkshire for generations, so she feels a particular affinity to its coastline and expansive landscapes.
Caroline is a Fine Art graduate with a keen interest in the creation of paintings and the quality of materials. She is fascinated by the nature of the painting itself – the effect of its size and orientation, and the impact created by using unexpected scale and dimension.
Influenced by the work of Northern Renaissance artists, such as Holbein and Vermeer, and modern artists such as Andrew Wyeth and Anthony Williams, Caroline is a clear lover of colour, which she sees in everything from the smallest leaf to the most epic sweeping landscape.
In creating her own art, she concentrates on using oil paint, though she has recently been exploring the qualities that gouache brings to her work.
My latest work concentrates on the marriage between my love of materials and the translation of colour and scale, which result in a portrayal of the sublime in a form which intrigues the viewer.
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