In her first exhibition as a member, Ann Blockley RI writes:
My RI paintings are from a series of interpretations based on a section of a hedgerow near my studio. The ever changing life of the hedge encompasses everything that interests me in nature. It is a small but complete world with an infinite number of compositions, texture and colour. I have an ongoing personal project to visit this hedge throughout the seasons and record its cycles and patterns of plants; the flowers, berries, leaves and seed-heads; the tapestries of interwoven stems and branches of its trees. Such hedgerows are fast disappearing and I am keen to make visual records whilst enjoying my painterly explorations.
My pictures are a balance between the recognisable and a more elusive,expressive way of seeing. These interpretations are also influenced by my own emotions and imagination. I sometimes use actual material from the hedge to make prints within the water- based mediums. I feel that this gives an authenticity and link with reality. However, the way that the process abstracts and breaks down the marks, reminds me of the life cycle of the plants themselves. The rest of the mark making is more intuitive and I often allow the organic ‘happenings’ of the paint to echo those I see in nature. This combination of the poetic with the actual creates a tension between the ‘real’ and the ‘suggested’ which I hope gives a magical quality to the artwork.
In my main set of RI paintings for 2019, two landscape- shaped views of the hedgerow were created to try and show a sense of the atmosphere of the time and place with leafy, brambled foregrounds contrasting the network of trees and branches behind. Two portrait- shaped pictures are more concerned with the intricate patterns and abstracted textures within closer-up sections of hedge. In all four there is a shared theme of the bramble and briar’s complex entwining of stem, leaf and fruit.Colours have been exaggerated or changed and I have chosen marks that allude to or suggest the subject without being pedantic.
Images from L to R: Brambly hedge 1, watercolour, 59 x 72cm and Brambly hedge 2, watercolour, 59 x 72cm