Exhibition at The Storey Gallery, Lancaster
Most of the pictures in this exhibition are inspired by the massive rocks of the Sidobre in France.
My family and I spent a year there and while the children were busy absorbing French life, I was painting and drawing these impressive rocks. Many were larger than houses, some of the great giant boulders balanced so exactly that even a small child could rock them. Some were literally great rivers of rocks- imagine a small stream, then multiply the size to the land of giants and you will have some idea of the boulders we scrambled over. The French call this type of rock-river a 'chaos', our favourite being the bizarrely named "Chaos de Balme".
There is one rock in particular that captivated me. A Great Bird in a forest clearing that the French call 'L'Oie' – it is after all the land of foie gras – but to me she is a Dove. She has tremendous presence and seemed to show a different side of her character every time I went. She could be intimidating but more often she felt protective, as if she ruled her clearing. I would often feel blessed by seeing her and wanted to paint these different sides to her - both literally and figuratively – for she looked like a bird from every angle, unlike some of the other rocks which only looked like an elephant or Napoleon's hat if you stood on the right spot. When you walk behind her you can even see that she is patiently sitting on an egg.
It is this concept of looking from every angle together with the feeling of being in a secret clearing that prompted the nine largest pictures in the show. They form the centre piece of the exhibition, but you will not see photographs of these works on the website until the after the show is open. It has taken some time – and a lot of skill by the framer Alan Harvey – to create the frames for these.
Together they make their own circular clearing in the gallery. When the show is over each frame will part from the other eight, each bird will dip its wings in a farewell salute and fly to its new home. Thank you Alan for making this possible.
All paintings in this exhibition are for sale. Please contact me or visit the exhibition for a price list.