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VANESSA GARDINER

EDGE LINES


Front cover image: Field Edge 21, 2014, acrylic on plywood, 36 x 112 cm Above: Fields and Coasts at Pentargon and towards Beeny, 2014 Page 4: Boscastle Harbour Entrance, 2014, pencil on paper, 21 x 29 cm 2


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uercus Gallery is proud to present this solo exhibition of work by Dorset-based painter, Vanessa Gardiner.

EDGE LINES introduces new paintings and drawings of Cornwall, together with selected paintings from recent visits to Greece. Vanessa Gardiner has always been drawn towards the natural geometry of coastal regions, particularly the Cornish peninsulas around Boscastle and more recently the Attica coastline. These coastal areas offer an absorbing combination of elements; it is these intersecting cliff points, sky lines and ocean planes that form the raw visual ingredients for her work. For this exhibition, I have returned to the Atlantic coastline around Boscastle, North Cornwall - a dramatically contorted landscape I have known for many years. Here the natural crook of the harbour is almost enclosed by the precipitous forms of the dark-slate cliffs. It is from these high vantage points that I like to base my paintings and I start with a series of closely-observed drawings, which I use to compose the pictures back in the studio. In making these new works my focus was increasingly drawn down towards the harbour entrance or out over the headlands, beyond the promontory to where the vast sweep of this panoramic coastline looks out towards Pentargon and Beeny. The coastal path lines intriguingly follow the contours of the cliffs, which are in turn echoed by the white surf of the sea. In Greece I was struck by the unexpected similarities between the linearity of the Attica coastline and that of the Cornish landscape, although here the clear, sharp Greek light enhances the purity of the lines and contours of the pale grey hills. Here the sea is more an intense cobalt blue, which at times appears to seemingly float as a solid band of dense colour across and between the headlands. The Greek paintings are sparser and more abstract in quality, reflecting the bold elements of the Mediterranean shorelines, yet they also draw attention to the ‘base lines’ common to both landscapes, a similarity which Vanessa has remarked upon having enhanced and refreshed her response to the landscape in general, particularly when returning to Cornwall. 3


Vanessa finds the process of drawing essential in getting to know a place well before beginning to paint. She states that only after drawing can she in some sense then feel justified in abstracting and reordering the landscapes into the carefully selected compositions she uses later in the paintings. Marks, textures and traces are built up upon the surface of the board, which itself can be incised, abraded and carved so that different weights of line and surface texture react with one another and direct the composition in unknown directions. By repeatedly sanding and scouring the plywood and responding intuitively to the traces and after-images which are left at each stage, I hope that something beyond the subject matter and the material will emerge, some ‘otherness’ as it were. I work across a number of pieces at any given time and might work on a series of six or seven paintings, rotating them in the studio as I go. I find that ideas from one picture will feed into others, and then back again. Naturally it can take some months to achieve resolution, with each painting acquiring, in some sense a kind of ‘family history’ but also standing up as a statement on its own. The act of exploring, and being directed by, her materials is certainly important beyond a concise representation of place but this process also creates a satisfying time-worn quality, which seems to evoke an essence of the naturally forged headlands and cross hatched path lines. This exhibition draws attention to Vanessa Gardiner’s distinctive visual language and the unique way in which she observes, distills and reorders the edge lines of a landscape in her paintings. Vanessa Gardiner studied art at the Central School of Art and has exhibited widely since 1991. She lives and works in Charmouth in west Dorset with her partner, the painter Alex Lowery.

Quercus Gallery March 2014

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Harbour 3, 2014 acrylic on board, 80 x 122 cm 5


Boscastle Harbour 3, 2013, pencil on paper, 10 x 20 cm

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Harbour Coast 6, 2014, acrylic on plywood, 49 x 79 cm

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Boscastle Harbour 4, 2013, pencil on paper, 10 x 20 cm

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Harbour Coast 5, 2014, acrylic on plywood, 48 x 53 cm 9


There is a grandeur about such a coast with the architectural qualities of its monumental cliffs. It is often from these high viewpoints that I draw, looking down onto the natural harbour and sea.

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Towards Pentargon, 2014

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Path Line 25, 2014, acrylic on board, 49 x 56 cm

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Cliff Wall 27, 2013, acrylic on board, 19 x 30 cm

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Pentargon, 2013, 9 x 14 cm, pencil on paper

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Beeny Cliff 1, 2013, acrylic on board, 17 x 47 cm

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Field Edge 15, 2013, acrylic on board, 26 x 36 cm

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Field Edge 20, 2013, acrylic on board, 13 x 33 cm

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Boscastle Harbour 2, 2013, pencil on paper, 10 x 20 cm

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Harbour Coast 8, 2014, acrylic on board, 30 x 50 cm

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It wasn't until April 2008 that I made my first visit to Greece. Initially it was only for five days to Athens, but it seemed both necessary and urgent to follow a newly discovered architectural direction in my work and to see the Parthenon with its embodiment of pure architecture, order and clarity.

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Paros 7, 2012 / 2014, acrylic on board, 61 x 85 cm 23


Attica Headlands 5, 2012, acrylic on board, 43 x 66 cm 24


Later that same year I accompanied this with a trip to the Peloponnese and began a series of drawings from the Argolid landscape knowing that there was much more to pursue and that it would be essential for me to return if I were to explore these ideas in depth.

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Cape Sounion 1, 2009, pencil on paper, 18 x 28 cm

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Attica Headlands 3, 2011, acrylic on board, 40 x 62 cm

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Harbour Coast 9, 2014, acrylic on board, 26 x 35 cm

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The wild Atlantic coastline of North Cornwall has been a long -standing inspiration for my paintings and it is the particularly beautiful area round Boscastle, which continues to captivate me. Here the dramatic landscape is made up of highly structured, dark slate cliffs and tidal inlets. Along this stretch of coast, looking out towards Pentargon, there is a path line which follows the contours of the cliff edge which in its turn echoes the surf line of the sea.

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Bostastle Harbour, 2014

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Boscastle Harbour 1, 2013, pencil on paper, 10 x 20 cm

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Harbour Coast 10, 2014, acrylic on board, 27 x 30 cm

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Harbour Coast 11, 2014, acrylic on plywood, 14 x 27 cm

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Harbour 2, 2014, acrylic on board, 44 x 61 cm

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Cliff Wall 26, 2014, acrylic on board, 29 x 27 cm

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Lansallos 14, 2006, acrylic on board, 16 x 34 cm

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VANESSA GARDINER 1960, Born Oxford Lives and works in West Dorset

Education: 1979 - 82 1978 - 79

Central School of Art and Design, London Foundation Course, Oxford Polytechnic

Solo Exhibitions: 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2006 2005 2003 2001 2000 1998 1996 1993 1992 1991

Quercus Gallery, Bath – Edge Lines Campden Gallery, Gloucestershire – Coastal Architecture Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset – Classical Elements Hart Gallery, London, Aegean Coasts British School at Athens, Greece Hart Gallery, London – Connecting Lines Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset – Coastal Elements Hart Gallery, London – Linear Coasts Atrium Gallery, Bournemouth University Campden Gallery, Gloucestershire Hart Gallery, London – Landscape & Architecture Hart Gallery, London Hart Gallery, London Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London Gordon Hepworth Gallery, Exeter Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London

Selected Group Exhibitions: 2014 Thackeray Gallery, London 2014 Sladers Yard, Dorset 2014 Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire 2013 SKETCH 2013 Open Sketchbook Drawing Prize, Rabley Drawing School, Marlborough 2013 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 2013 Quercus Gallery, Bath 2013 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London 2013 Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire 2011 Artists for Kettle’s Yard, Kettles Yard, Cambridge 2010 20/21 British Art Fair, London (Hart Gallery) 2010 The Carlow Art Collection, Carlow, Ireland 2010 Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset 2010 Bevere Gallery, Worcester 2009 179” RHA Exhibition, Dublin (invited artist) Gallagher Gallery, Dublin 2008/09 Bournemouth University Art Loan Collection 2008 Alpha House, Sherborne 2008 London Art Fair, Islington, London (Hart Gallery) 2007 Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset 2007 Images from North Mayo, The Courthouse Gallery, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland 2007 Ultramarine, Sherborne House, Sherborne (two person) 2007 London Art Fair, Islington, London (Hart Gallery) 2006 Bournemouth University Art Loan Collection 2006 Art London, Chelsea, London (Hart Gallery) 2006 London Art Fair, Islington (Hart Gallery) 2005 Campden Gallery, Chipping Campden (two person) 2005 Bournemouth University Art Loan Collection 2004 Alpha House Gallery, Sherborne 2004 Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth 2004 Art for Life, Christie’s, London 2003 New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham 2003 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London 2003 Art London, Chelsea, London (Hart Gallery) 2002 Eigse Carlow Visual Arts, Carlow, Ireland – invited artist 2002 20/21 British Art Far, London (Hart Gallery)

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Awards/Residencies: 2009-2010 British School at Athens - Prince of Wales Bursary for the Arts 2007/2009 Residency Fellowship, Ballinglen Arts, Foundation, Co Mayo, Ireland 2003/1999 Arts Council South West - Fine Art Award Artist Talks: 2012 2010 2002 Collections: 2011 2010 2008 2008 2008 2008 2007 2002 2000 1998

Sladers Yard, West Bay, Dorset British School at Athens, Greece Eigse Carlow Visual Arts, Carlow, Ireland British Academy, London British School at Athens, Greece Magdalen College, Oxford. Fidelity Investments London/Dublin Huddersfield City Art Gallery New Hall, Cambridge The Ballinglen Archive, The Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Ireland Carlow Art Collection, Carlow, Ireland Bournemouth University Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, Exeter – Arts in Hospital

Bibliography: 2014 2013 2012 2011 2009 2008 2008 2007 2005 2002 2001 2000 2000 1999 1998 1998 1996 1991

In the Frame: Seascapes by Emily Tobin, House & Garden Magazine Vivienne Light, Coastal Architecture, cat. essay, Campden Gallery Jacket Illustration for Luck, Value, & Commitment - Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams, Oxford University Press Artists for Kettle’s Yard, catalogue (illus.) Julian Bell, Connecting Lines, catalogue essay, Hart Gallery Jane Rye, The Week magazine Fiona Robinson, Evolver magazine, artist profile Interview with John Hart, Linear Coasts catalogue, Hart Gallery Judith Bumpus, Landscape & Architecture, cat. essay, Hart Gallery Judith Bumpus, Eigse Carlow, catalogue (illus.) Vivienne Light, Reinventing the Landscape: contemporary painters and Dorset. Canterton Press (illus.) Evening Standard, London (3/10) Vivienne Light, Duncan Campbell exhibition card John Windsor, A Broad Canvas, The Independent Magazine (illus.) Judith Bumpus, Duncan Campbell exhibition card The Indian Times, review Duncan Campbell exhibition Elizabeth James, Modern Painters Magazine, review of 1996 exhibition Tim Hilton, Critic’s Choice, The Guardian

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Back cover image: Field Edge Pentargon, 2014, pencil on paper, 15 x 45 cm 40


Vanessa Gardiner

EDGE LINES 5 April – 3 May 2014

Quercus Gallery 1 Queen Street Bath BA1 1HE +44 (0)1225 428211 info@quercusgallery.co.uk www.quercusgallery.co.uk

For all enquiries please contact: Evie Howard evie@quercusgallery.co.uk m: 07738 929089 t: 01225 428211

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QUERCUS GALLERY www.quercusgallery.co.uk

Profile for Quercus Gallery

Vanessa Gardiner EDGE LINES  

Fully illustrated catalogue to accompany Vanessa Gardiner's solo show EDGE LINES at Quercus Gallery 5 April - 3 May 2014. Includes images o...

Vanessa Gardiner EDGE LINES  

Fully illustrated catalogue to accompany Vanessa Gardiner's solo show EDGE LINES at Quercus Gallery 5 April - 3 May 2014. Includes images o...

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