Monday, 5 October 2009
Solo Exhibition - Beth Fletcher
We regularly show Beth's landsape paintings in the gallery and The Gallery at Bevere is delighted that she now has a solo exhibition in the "New Space" throughout October
“Even after graduating with an MA in Fine Art five years ago I was sceptical about whether I’d be able to make a living doing what I love, but since then I’ve been painting almost every day. It’s still interesting to see people’s reactions when they ask what job I do and I tell them I’m an artist...I had no idea of some of the assumptions most people make about artists! Every day in the studio is different. Once I’ve put on my working clothes, turned on the radiators, made a cup of coffee and switched on the radio, the rest of the day is unpredictable. There could be framing or preparation jobs to do, I could be in the middle of a painting or I might spend the day doodling and developing ideas. Sometimes I need to just sit and daydream!
I find that my working process is like a staircase: ideas inform formal issues of colour, texture and composition, and then experimenting with these things goes on to generate more ideas for work, and so on. As time passes, I find more and more things can provoke new ideas – a simple thing like a colour combination I have seen somewhere will ring bells in my memory, a poem or a piece of music will evoke aspects of landscape. Paintings tend to be mostly unplanned – I start with a feeling of what I would like to express, but each mark I make will dictate every mark that is to come so that the painting builds and changes as it progresses.
Though I make drawings and sometimes prints, my abiding love affair is with oil paint. Oils have a particular language which responds very well to landscape painting; they are very physical, very malleable, and capable of conveying subtly varied moods. They have an inherent depth, and a way of moving and behaving on the canvas that mimics the movement of tide, wind or light and shade across the land. These intangible, fluctuating things are the true subject of my work – the things that, for me, are the voice and lifeblood of landscape and speak straight to the heart.
Though trying to communicate the experiential effects of landscape through a visual medium may seem ironic, it has a long history in landscape painting…the Sublime, the Romantic, the ‘glimpse beyond the veil’. Without being sentimental, I try to capture the feeling of being in the landscape as much as the physical characteristics of the landscape itself, which is why I don’t pay much attention to exact topographical detail, trying in fact to work from memory and sketches rather than from life or photographs. However, I can usually guarantee that at every private view someone will sidle up to me and ask ‘Yes, but where exactly is it?”