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ANGIE LEWIN A Natural Selection


ANGIE LEWIN A Natural Selection

1-30 May 2015 www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/angielewin

Cover: Sutherland Shore (cat. 18) Watercolour, 29 x 28 cms


F O R E WO R D

Christina Jansen I am delighted to present Angie Lewin’s first solo exhibition with The Scottish Gallery. She is best known as a designer and printmaker whose sensitive patterns and motifs are inspired by the English Arts and Crafts movement and the work of Bawden and Ravilious. She divides her life between homes in Edinburgh and Speyside and this geographic diversity is reflected in her plant observations and interweaving of the natural and domestic worlds. She walks, looks and draws; she collects and assembles and her studio is full of reference material, beautiful in itself witnessing a life lived in art and nature. Her chosen medium for this exhibition is watercolour, that most sensitive and difficult medium and her virtuosity is complete but should be no surprise in the context of her rigorous apprenticeship. The playful title for this show hints at her obsessive observing, refined through the artist’s editorial eye to make order out of chaos. Christina Jansen Director - The Scottish Gallery


A detail from ‘Wild Garden, Seedheads’


INTRODUCTION

Nathaniel Hepburn

Over the last year I’ve taken great pleasure in seeing new paintings coming out of Angie Lewin’s studio; each is full of the visual surprises that initially attracted me to her work and which continue to excite and delight the eye. This body of work is some of the most dynamic and progressive of Lewin’s career to date. The natural forms which she captures dance more freely and with more energy than ever before. The colours are more exquisite like the bold blue of echinops or the pale chalky greens of the lichens. The compositions are liberating and sophisticated; the paintings that only someone at entire ease with their subject and medium could dare to produce. One of the signs of a great artist is their ability to change how we see our world (and thus change the world itself, if you follow the theories of phenomenology). A pebble on the beach looks different once you have spent time with Barbara Hepworth’s work; a snowy ploughed field never looks the same once you’ve admired a John Nash painting of the identical vista; and the South Downs have been transformed by Eric Ravilious’s ability to capture the haloing effect of early morning light.


Angie Lewin has also transformed our view of the world. Dried seedheads, seaweed and lichen, often overlooked, enjoy pride of place in her compositions prompting us to examine them with a fresh perspective. The architectural structure of a thistle, the fragile translucency of honesty seedpods – things we might pass by without registering – each becomes majestic and important. When I use my small collection of Ravilious ceramics, or spot a Staffordshire jug or a lustreware plate on a market stall, I am transported to one of Angie’s works. Within Angie’s watercolours all the best-loved elements we expect from a Lewin print remain, but here they transcend their physical reality to merge into the paint and paper. These abstract qualities excite me, making my heart leap each time I see another of these stunning works. The pattern of a cup spills from its ceramic form to decorate the space around it, bleeding into the wallpaper and tablecloth. The seeds of a dead flower drift into white space, making the eye dance in and out of the composition. The way Angie uses space, her delight in colour and the paper’s surface, all give pleasure. Then there’s the apparent ease with which the colours spill from the outlines of the structure; lettering and decoration fluctuate between the surface of the object and the surface of the painting itself. In other works the perspective is distorted

so playfully until each object becomes like the colours and shapes of a Ben Nicholson or Piet Mondrian painting – abstract, composed, poised – held in an exquisite balance. Patterns merge. Colours fly. Lewin’s compositions dance. Her paintings are filled with the beauty of nature presented with such fine handling that it is the abstract that we enjoy. If writing in this manner feels at odds to how we initially encounter Angie’s work, it is because the beautiful simplicity belies a deeper sophistication. It is this depth which engages the viewer time and time again. The small Angie Lewin watercolour hanging on my wall at home jumps out from the pictures which surround it. It continues to feel fresh to me, and the same will undoubtedly be true for each of the paintings in this exhibition when they find a new home. Even the most tired eyes are invigorated by Angie Lewin’s art. The excitement she feels each time she begins to paint a new subject is passed on to the viewer in every watercolour we see. Nathaniel Hepburn Art historian and curator Director - Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft


Angie sketching in the Spanish Pyrenees


1 / Auden and Thalictrum Watercolour, 28 x 38 cms


2 / New Town Cup Watercolour, charcoal and pencil, 25 x 35 cms


3 / The Gardener’s Arms Watercolour, 77 x 57 cms


4 / Dice Cup and Feather Watercolour, 34 x 33 cms


5 / Teabowl and Holdfast Watercolour, 25 x 48 cms


6 / Weavers’ Union Watercolour, 77 x 57 cms


7 / Pink Lustre Plate with Sheep’s Sorrel Watercolour, 51 x 60 cms


8 / Calendula Study III Watercolour, 35 x 50 cms


9 / Coneflower with Spanish Seedheads Watercolour, 53 x 46 cms


10 / Pink Cup with Seedheads Watercolour, charcoal and pencil, 25 x 31 cms


11 / Seedheads, Feathers and Bracken Watercolour, 57 x 77 cms


12 / The Blue Platter Watercolour, 57 x 77 cms


13 / Calendula Study, Dark Sky Watercolour, 18 x 18 cms


14 / Persephone Bowl with Lichen Watercolour, 32 x 36 cms


15 / Wild Garden, Seedheads Watercolour, 57 x 77 cms


16 / Spey Still Life with Yellow Book Watercolour, 74 x 55 cms


A still life composition in Angie’s studio


BIOGRAPHY

Angie Lewin, RE Born 1963, Macclesfield, Cheshire Education 2003-2004 2002-2003 1997-1998 1996-1997 1986-1987 1983-1986 1982-1983

Postgraduate Glass and Fine Art - Central St. Martins Postgraduate Glass and Architecture - Central St. Martins City & Guilds Garden Design - Capel Manor RHS General Certificate in Horticulture - Capel Manor Postgraduate Printmaking - Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts BA (Hons) Fine Art Printmaking - Central School of Art & Design Art Foundation - Northwich College of Art

Societies The Society of Wood Engravers The Art Workers’ Guild The Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers Public collections London Institute Aberystwyth University Ashmolean Museum Victoria & Albert Museum


Selected recent exhibitions 2014 2014 2014 2013 2013 2012 2012 2011 2010

Cambridge Contemporary Art (joint exhibition) Designing The Everyday, Towner, Eastbourne St Jude’s in the City, The Townhouse, Fournier Street, London (joint exhibition) Angie Lewin, A Natural Line, Yorkshire Sculpture Park (solo exhibition) St Jude’s in the City, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (joint exhibition) Revealed: A Familiar Landscape, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh (joint exhibition) St Jude’s In The City, Bankside Gallery, London (joint exhibition) Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London Summer Exhibition, The Royal Academy, London

Awards, commissions and other achievements Aberystwyth University, School of Art Purchase Prizes 2008 and 2011. Co-founded textile design company St Jude’s in 2005. Illustrations for publishers Penguin, Merrell and Conran Octopus plus book jackets for the poems of Carol Ann Duffy for Picador and Shelley for Faber & Faber. In 2010 Merrell publish ‘Angie Lewin - Plants and Places’. In 2010 the wood engraving ‘Alphabet and Feathers’ was included in the V&A Cherry On The Cake collection and in 2015 a new screen print, ‘Honesty Blue’ was also commissioned by the V&A. Fabric designs for Liberty for their Autumn/Winter 2010 collection.


17 / Artichoke, Dark Sky Watercolour, 26 x 28 cms


Published by The Scottish Gallery to coincide with the exhibition ANGIE LEWIN A Natural Selection 1-30 May 2015 The exhibition can be viewed online at www.scottish-gallery.co.uk/angielewin ISBN: 978-1-910267-14-1  Designed by Simon Lewin Portrait of Angie in her studio by Alun Callender Photography of watercolours by Jamie McAteer All other photography by Simon Lewin Printed by Swallowtail Print   All rights reserved. No part of this catalogue may be reproduced in any form by print, photocopy or by any other means, without the permission of the copyright holders and of the publishers.

16 Dundas Street, Edinburgh EH3 6HZ TEL 0131 558 1200 EMAIL mail@scottish-gallery.co.uk www.scottish-gallery.co.uk


LOOKING AHEAD

Future watercolours

My next major series of watercolours will be exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh during Autumn 2020. If you’d like to receive details of this exhibition and the paintings I’ll be exhibiting nearer the time, please subscribe to my e-mail newsletter: bit.ly/angie_lewin_news


Profile for St Jude's

Angie Lewin - A Natural Selection  

The catalogue for Angie Lewin's 2015 exhibition of watercolours at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh.

Angie Lewin - A Natural Selection  

The catalogue for Angie Lewin's 2015 exhibition of watercolours at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh.

Profile for stjudes