29th August 2020 - 26th September 2020
Angela Annesley, Karen McEndoo and Ria Poole
‘Equilibrium: Wild Walking Through the Landscape’
Combining vibrant mixed media painting and woodcuts, this exhibition will bring together three contemporary artists working in Cornwall. All the artists exhibit across the UK, and their work reveals a wide range of responses to the Cornish landscape, ranging from abstract to figurative, from monotone to multi-hued.
Angela is a print artist based in Pendeen in West Cornwall. Her Ravenstongue Studio specialises in handprinted woodcuts and screenprints.
Her work depicts the wilder, darker side of Cornish nature. Each print is paired with a fragment of poetry that brings out the essence of the image. The scenes have a touch of old fashioned fairytales about them, reflecting the opposing curves and angles of the natural and industrial landscapes and wild seascapes of the south west. Animals run free in their natural environment and the prints embody the strength of the southwesterly winds that shape the character of the land and sea. More stylised prints use shape and pattern to interpret both natural and manmade forms with a structural grace and balance.
Her work develops organically as she works on each piece. Designs are sketched roughly on the wood or plate, and then are developed organically, achieving a sense of energy and movement through freedom of movement as she carves. She uses natural wood, Japanese ply and hardboard as her base material, with finely honed Japanese woodcarving chisels and gouges. Angela prints with both water-based etching inks and oil-based litho inks, and favours sugar paper and unbleached papers that add their own character to the prints. Each print is unique, with its own idiosyncrasies of ink density and patination. The woodcuts and etchings are printed on a unique A1 press designed and made by an engineer in Perranporth.
Karen lives in Tregony, near Truro, and spent her early life in several African countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. She studied Graphics and Illustration in Taunton but more recently has moved toward abstraction. She spends much of her time walking the North and South Cornish and Devon coastlines, the wild cliffs and rich colours reviving memories of Africa which are often reflected in her work.
‘Unbound by physical representation, pure abstraction enables me to more fully penetrate the world I inhabit’. Based in the South West, Karen’s work is drawn from the dichotomy of chaos and humanity’s constant search for balance, exploring the diametric of light and dark, existence and non-existence, matter and anti-matter. One mechanism to achieve this balance is science – a measured interpretation of man’s encounter with the world. The process of abstraction works similarly as a visual means of navigating these dichotomies.
Within the abstracted chaos, discernable shapes rise and blur before reaching formation. Sweeps of colour appear removed, as if filtered through a lens, fighting against the black which quietly pervades many of her paintings. Opposites existing in the physical qualities of paint itself are explored – flat planes are challenged by exposed layering, muddied hues bleed around strong primaries, texture built is at once reduced. Bleary forms abut sharp blocks of colour, generating a sense of movement- a dancing shift in focus. At first seemingly restful, Karen’s work is imbued with a taut energy.
Ria Poole is a contemporary painter working in West Cornwall. Her work is intimately situated in the Cornish landscape, where she paints en plein air in all weathers, sometimes in hard to reach coastal locations to enable her to capture the most interesting perspectives. The expressive abstraction of her studio work is playfully unbound, embracing a range of techniques and media, celebrating colour and painterliness. Ria exhibits widely across the UK and her paintings have been shortlisted for various art prizes, including Creates Emerging Artist Award 2020, Black Swan Open Art Prize 2019, and Artists and Illustrators Artists of the Year Award 2018.