We are all constantly moving towards something and moving beyond. We wonder what is coming, often searching for the light or noticing that it is there. Pippa Blake makes atmospheric paintings about moving through the landscape; the fleeting glimpses this reveals and the emotional journeys it triggers. She is drawn to the enigmatic quality of light at dusk, the horizon and the brief snapshots of landscapes that she experiences whilst travelling.
After a lifetime spent travelling, it makes sense that journeys - both literal and metaphorical – have become key elements in Pippa’s work. The idea that the landscape can be a metaphor for the mind and its contents has profoundly shaped the way she approaches her subject matter, acknowledging that her paintings are the outer expressions of her inner feelings. They are a search for something intangible, something in the space at the edge of our experience, in the gap between the conscious and the subliminal.
Working in oils and using photographs and film stills as her starting point, many of Pippa’s paintings are imbued with soulfulness, and the moments captured in them feel unstable or unfixed, as though the viewer is witnessing the scene from a peripheral viewpoint. Her paintings capture our attention with their intense mystery and ambiguity. The paintings describe uncanny scenes that are at once familiar but so fleeting that they remain just out of reach: the blur of hedgerows witnessed as a passing glimpse whilst driving at dusk. The poignancy that comes from this detached perspective evokes feelings that give the work its power and potency.
Pippa describes her work as expressive and gestural, and formed and intense. Concomitant with these differing categories, you can feel a range of emotions in the paintings. Those that suggest light and positivity, others that suggest determination and rigor. Like the long adventures at sea Pippa experienced earlier in her life there are calm days and there are days that require more focus and attention, so too with these paintings and each of us will experience them differently.