‘Patterns of Friendship’
16th May – 6th June 2020
Annie Ovenden and The Arnolds
Annie Ovenden’s recent paintings are shown here alongside work by her friends and fellow former members of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, the late Ann and Graham Arnold.
Exhibiting alongside will be Tamsin Abbott showing new work created specially for this show. It is by Tamsin’s kind permission that we are able to exhibit selected works from the estate of Ann and Graham Arnold.
Also part of this exhibition are Anna Lambert’s landscape inspired pots. Anna has developed her hand built forms to reflect a connection with her locality and to the fragile and constantly changing environment, responding to places as diverse as wild bleak moorland and bird-filled hedgerows.
INNTRODUCTION BY IAN MASSEY
In a continuation of her long engagement with the bucolic countryside of north Cornwall, Ovenden returns to her favoured subject of trees, in depictions both celebratory and elegiac. Her landscapes are transfigured by heightened colour, and by judicious effects of light and shadow, metaphors for transience. A subtle vocabulary of painted marks establishes a gentle kinesis that captures the movement of sunlight and air on pasture and foliage.
Light is at its most dramatic in paintings such as Restormel Castle, its slender foreground trees as though strobe-lit in early morning sun, and in the illuminated memorial landscape of Those were the Days my Friends.
The visionary romance of such pictures is also found in Ann Arnold’s, certainly those with an implied narrative: the watercolour study of the journeying John Clare for instance, or the idealised dream landscape of The Merlin. Poetry exists too in the handful of highly sensitive drawings by Graham Arnold shown here, his tiny and intimate Wedding Photos reminiscent of a Morandi etching.
The work of all three of these artists arises from an English tradition whose antecedents include Samuel Palmer and John Nash, a tradition that now assumes a greater and more urgent poignancy under present circumstances.
Ian Massey, April 2020
Graham and Ann Arnold
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