SUSAN LAUGHTON: Travelling Light

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SUSAN LAUGHTON Travelling Light

Sound of Winter

acrylic and plaster on board 40 x 40 cm

SUSAN LAUGHTON Travelling Light 3 – 31 October 2015


At the Edge II acrylic and plaster on board 14 x 122 cm


New paintings by Susan Laughton

Susan Laughton’s work displays a sensibility to the subtle peripheries of places and times of day; marginal places where the urban seeps into the rural and the cusp between light and darkness is present, in the gloaming or onset of dawn. The landscape has always been her starting point; not a vision of landscape as a scenic or static view, but as a space travelled through and experienced. With this new body of work Susan further explores her impressions of landscapes viewed from her recent journeys. A number of the works are informed by the North Yorkshire coast where the artist undertook a mini residency at Staithes Harbour earlier this year. There can be a sense of travelling without moving when viewing a landscape through the window of a travelling car or train. The countryside outside races past yet one’s own person and glance remains still; a steady stare taking in the expanse outside, the light, the sky and the horizon punctuated with telegraph wires or the tops of trees. Susan skilfully captures times of day where the light appears to be travelling in or out like a tide, preserving something of this transience in the glow of her paintings. Her choice of medium enhances these atmospheric effects and creates ethereal images suggestive of a conflation of times and places rather than depicting one distinct viewpoint. The application of plaster then acrylic paint serves to preserve and hold the colour within the surface of the painting. Often a layer of plaster is laid over the canvas leaving an implied frame suggestive of a car window. Process and materials are important to Susan as a way of allowing the paintings to emerge as objects in their own right. Much of the subjects are carefully planned out from observational sketches and photographs but Susan also responds to the spontaneity of manipulating the materials on the surface of the canvas or board. With a background in architecture there is a strong graphic quality to the work. Precise marks articulate the forms of buildings and lineal trees occupy the horizon line. This structured and methodical approach to composition is combined with other unpredictable marks and textures, which are created by sanding the surface of the painting at different stages. It is this interplay of control and freedom that continues to fascinate Susan in the way she produces her work. Susan Laughton’s paintings convey a sense of moving, observing and absorbing the shifting land uses with a pared back visual language entirely her own. The composite experience of a long car journey is distilled into a static image but a sense of movement cleverly retained. The works are both analytical and atmospheric having a balance of detailed and free marks. These are timeless images that convey gently abstracted experiences of passing perspectives, infused with travelling light. Susan Laughton lives and works in Cheshire. Following a twelve-year career in architecture Susan studied fine art at the Bolton Institute, graduating in 2002. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK and in 2012 she was short listed for the John Moores Painting Prize.

Evie Williams | September 2015

‘I think things I see whilst on the move are still my main inspiration, quite often when on the motorway, so not usually picturesque or romantic to most people but I love the constantly changing conjunction of urban, industrial, rural and suburban you get from this travelling viewpoint. I particularly like evening light when there can be a stillness as well, a sense of thoughtfulness, even when on the move.’ Susan Laughton

Celadon Sky II acrylic and plaster on board 40 x 40 cm Â

Silvering Time II acrylic and plaster on canvas 70 x 60 cm

‘Most of my paintings have a lot of sky and reference horizons and skylines. Against the sky are always structures of some sort, whether obviously buildings or more abstract mysterious looking shapes or linear elements, wires, repeated verticals.’

Susan Laughton

In the Distance acrylic and plaster on board 14 x 122 cm

Opposite page: Half-Light II acrylic and plaster on board 80 x 80 cm

Taking Shape acrylic and plaster on board 40 x 40 cm

Harbour acrylic and plaster on board 15 x 40 cm

Setting Out II acrylic and plaster on board 15 x 40 cm

Reflector acrylic and plaster on board 15 x 15 cm

Half Light I acrylic and plaster on board 15 x 15 cm

Travelling Light II acrylic and plaster on board 70 x 80 cm

Captured acrylic and plaster on canvas 70 x 60 cm

Elevated acrylic and plaster on board 30 x 30 cm

Watchful I acrylic and plaster on canvas 40 x 40 cm

Watchful II acrylic and plaster on canvas 40 x 40 cm

Opposite page: Set Adrift acrylic and plaster on canvas 25 x 70 cm

Travelling Light acrylic and plaster on board 20 x 20 cm

‘Let us go then, you and I, When the evening is spread out against the sky’

T.S Eliot

Celadon Sky III acrylic and plaster on board 40 x 40 cm

SUSAN LAUGHTON: Susan Laughton worked in architecture for twelve years before returning to education to study art graduating in 2002. She was a founding member of the Valley Artists in Rossendale and had a studio there for six years. She now works from The Electric Picture House in Congleton, Cheshire Shortlisted: 2012 John Moores Painting Prize Walker Gallery Liverpool. Selected solo exhibitions: 2011 Still Here greenroom, Manchester curated by Blank Media collective 2010 Measured Space Duckett and Jeffreys Gallery, Malton, North Yorkshire see more 2009 Sightlines Salford Museum & Art Gallery including curation of works from Salford’s permanent collection. 2008 Haworth Museum & Gallery Accrington Group exhibitions: 2015 Drawn The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol 2014 Bristol Affordable Art Fair represented by Columbia Road Gallery 2014 East Cheshire Hospice Art Fair Macclesfield Town Hall 2014 Art in the Park Oulton Park, Cheshire 2014 Quercus Gallery Summer Show 2014 Hampstead Affordable Art Fair 2013 Battersea Affordable Art Fair 2013 New York City Affordable Art Fair 2013 neo:artprize exhibition neo:gallery 22, Bolton 2013 Hampstead Affordable Art Fair 2013 Palace Art Fair, Fulham, London 2013 Bristol Affordable Art Fair 2012 Artlink Stockport Art Galley, Cheshire 2012 East Cheshire Hospice Art Fair, Macclesfield 2011 Artificial Light Cupola Gallery, Sheffield 2011 A Different View The Barefoot Gallery, Boston Spa, Yorkshire 2011 No.1: Paint BLANKSPACE Gallery, Manchester 2011 Wirksworth Festival Art Trails 2011 Barnaby Festival, Macclesfield 2011 Stockport Contemporary Open Stockport Art Gallery, Cheshire 2011 Northern Lines Artisan Art Gallery, Bolton 2010 Palace Art Fair Fulham, London

2009 Art of Ideas II Arts & Business/Arts Council exhibition selected by Stephen Snoddy, Director of the Walsall Gallery 2009 Findings Valley Artists at Towneley Museum & Gallery, Burnley 2009 Survey Gallerytop, Rowsley, Derbyshire 2009 Buy Art Fair Urbis, Manchester, represented by Arts&Business 2008 Reveal Rossendale Open Studios 2008 Brighton Art Fair 2007 Tony Scrivener & Susan Laughton Firbob & Peacock Contemporary Art, Knutsford, Cheshire. 2007 Figura Gallery, Windsor 2007 Islington Art & Design Fair 2007 Brighton Art Fair 2007 Open Exhibition Grosvenor Museum, Chester 2006 Troubadour Gallery Chorlton, Manchester 2006 Calder Gallery Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire 2006 Haworth Open Haworth Gallery, Accrington, Lancashire 2006 Prelude Art Fair Spitalfields, London 2006 Landmarks III Lowood Gallery, Armathwaite, Cumbria 2005 Sculptural Possibilities Cupola Gallery, Sheffield Awards: 2006 Arts Council Grant Commissions: 2008 Valley of Stone: art commission and community workshop with five Valley Artists for Groundwork Pennine Lancashire (with Heritage Lottery funding) to raise awareness of the quarrying heritage of Rossendale. Selected: Axis for Artists Visual portfolio by Arts & Business education: 2002 BA (Hons) Visual Art and Design (First) Bolton Institute. 1987 HND Building Technology, Bolton Institute.

SUSAN LAUGHTON Travelling Light 3 - 31 O ctober 2015 Gall ery op en: Tue s – Sat, 10.30 – 5.30 pm For more i nformation, high resol ution images and pri ces please contact Evie W illiams evie@quercusgal

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