Hannah Baker Ivory and Sam Peacock have been collaborating on work inspired by the landscape of the North and South Downs. They felt that Kellie Miller Arts Gallery was an ideal venue to exhibit their collections and to showcase their works together.
The title ‘Ephemeral Landscapes’ encapsulates the energy captured in their art, both in feeling and execution. Both Hannah and Sam seek to reflect the ephemeral qualities of the landscape in their works; the transient, fleeting, impermanent and momentary. While the two artists have very different takes on their approach, there is a clear synergy in their work. Both artists use a predominantly earthy palette and create work that is texturally rich, almost muscular.
The outside world can change rapidly. Thick grey cloud and pouring rain can become brilliant white light. The wind picks up and drops again, and the temperature changes, all within a moment. This sense of constant movement is what Hannah is trying to capture in her oil paintings. Every painting starts with a sketch, completed ‘en plein air’, which serves as a record of place, time, weather and light. These are then worked up into larger studio pieces, in which she tries to retain the sense of movement and spontaneity present in her sketches, but on a larger scale. Landscapes are full of shape, texture, movement, and it’s these aspects that she captures in both her sketches and paintings.
She explains that:
”There is nothing uniform about the natural world; weather changes in an instant without warning, the sea moves from tranquil to turbulent, a blue sky suddenly fills with dense grey cloud, and an earthy petrichor fills the air; the semi-abstract nature of each piece is really a nod to the asymmetry and the unexpected”
Sam’s work is the more abstract of the two. His creative process begins with studies and explorations of the land, using a metal detector to uncover metals beneath the earth and collecting sands and soils. These foraged materials are then used in the creation of his work. Together with oil paint, coffee and sugar, which is laid onto steel sheets and then blowtorched, helping him to create areas of abstract marks and texture that are reminiscent of old structures, topographical features, pathways and waterways. Not only does his work portray an interpretation of place, but the materials present in each piece deeply connects it to the localities that he paints.
Sam strongly connects to the materials and his processes, which are integral to conveying his inspirations and his messages. He talks about the use of fire in his work as:
In nature, fire not only destroys but it also gives way to new life. It is part of the process that allows me to scrape back the paint and materials to create abstract marks that are reminiscent of past lives, agriculture and industry. The material links in each piece and the explorations of the areas I paint gives me a strong connection to the work, and is an integral part of my interpretation of place”.
This exhibition is a new approach for the gallery, embracing two artists connected through mind, creativity and theme. This resonates with the gallery’s ethos, and it is a joy to celebrate this partnership by curating this exhibition.
Kellie Miller Arts, 20 Market Street, Brighton, United Kingdom, BN1 1HH