Tues 18 - Sun 23 Apr, Gallery 3, 4 Cromwell Place, London
Opening times at Cromwell Place
Tuesday - Saturday, 10-6pm
Gallery 3, 4 Cromwell Place, London SW7 2JE
Candida Stevens Gallery is proud to present When Feeling Out of Sight, an exhibition of landscapes by Katharine Le Hardy and Kerry Harding, an exhibition that showcases the emotional potential of landscape painting. The landscape and geology inspired sculptures of Oriel Zinaburg compliment the paintings in both style and approach to making. Despite their highly distinctive styles, there is an intriguing overlap in the practice of these artists. All three artists follow an intuitive process of mark-making. Harding and Le Hardy layer their canvases as they build their compositions to create scenes that are informed by their experiences but shaped by their imaginations. In their most recent work, Le Hardy’s impressionistic landscapes brim with feelings of escapism and nostalgia, whilst Harding’s abstracted views invite the viewer to meditate on the beauty of nature as it passes us by. Zinaburg's work is named the Coral Series, a body of work inspired by the form and colours of coral reefs.
Katharine Le Hardy
The culmination of almost three years of thinking and experimentation, Katharine Le Hardy’s latest body of work examines the ways in which landscapes can communicate a narrative and induce feelings of nostalgia and escapism in the viewer. Here, dramatic scenery is depicted with a tenderness and tranquility that transports us to a calm and thoughtful space; one in which memories and dreams combine, nestled in the forest’s canopy and shimmering beneath the water’s surface.
Using personal photos, memories and found imagery as sources of inspiration, the artist has created a world that is part-imagined and part-remembered, born from reality and yet fantastical in appearance. Recollections of being immersed in the Brazilian rainforest combine with a strong desire to visit the Canadian wilderness, creating a world in which lush foliage frames views of mountainous valleys. Rivers sweep through the works to carry the viewer into the landscape and, like the delicately depicted figures seen dipping their toes in the water, we sense the transience of our presence within the vastness of nature and time.
Le Hardy paints intuitively, working on multiple paintings at once and without a preconceived idea of her final composition. Using thinned oils, she uses an array of tools from paintbrush to scraper to make suggestive and gestural marks. These instinctive applications provide the impetus for subsequent layers, with many of the canvases living through several iterations, rotated and reworked as the artist draws out the scenery hidden in the marks already made.
In this series, the artist’s distinctive, impressionistic style - distilled forms, sweeping brushstrokes and drips of paint - is amplified by the visual history we see embedded, the imprint of earlier layers remaining exposed beneath the surface. Combined with a thoughtfully limited colour palette, there is a depth and honesty that contributes to the sense of narrative within these landscapes. In this, Le Hardy captures something of the essence of experiencing nature unspoiled, be it in childhood, memory or dream.
Kerry Harding's immersive new body of work invites the viewer to slow down and linger a while. Enveloped in cloud and rippling waves, dreamlike abstractions of the Cornish landscape possess a timeless quality reflective of the enduring inspiration and comfort that the artist derives from her surroundings. Presented without specific reference to time of day, season or place, these are works that encourage the viewer to experience the reassuring omnipresence of sea, land and sky.
Process is central to the creative development of Harding’s landscapes, which evolve over many months. Finding inspiration in existing marks, she creates her landscapes from old canvases, flipping and turning them as she strips back the paint to find the starting point for a new work. The artist then builds new compositions using a variety of techniques, building layers of freely applied washes and hyper-realistic detail.
Citing the influence of Milton Avery and Jean-Édouard Vuillard, in this series Harding has taken a freer approach to the pairing of flattened planes alongside delicate detailing, producing landscapes that play with the viewer’s perspective of space and movement. In many cases they offer a surprising stillness and calming presence; the fleeting movement of cloud and sea is bound by the crisp outline of the coast whilst translucent silhouettes and bleached skies cast a soothing glow over the landscape.
Early in her practice Harding frequently used textiles, sewing together fabrics and stitching into canvases. This has had a lasting impact on her painting, with questions of how texture and space can be represented in two-dimensional form remaining fundamental. It has also informed how she approaches painting, recreating the therapeutic nature of undertaking needlework in her creation of intricate detail.
Sinking into the meditative process of making in this series, Harding has likened the feeling of comfort she gets from the landscape that surrounds her to that of a patchwork blanket. In many ways this can also be seen as a metaphor for the process she has undertaken. Like the quilter who turns remnants of fabric into an object of comfort, Harding has brought pieces of her memory and imagination together to create a series of landscapes that allow us to appreciate the reassuring beauty of nature.
Oriel Zinaburg’s abstract sculptural pieces explore the relationship between what is logically and mathematically constructed and the fluidity of emotion. Creating tension between control and chance, his work gives no clear answer and leaves the viewer feeling distended by its beautiful mystery.
Inspired by landscape, geology and art, he is repeatedly looking for a response to the traditional vessel form based on the Japanese aesthetic of beauty in imperfection and irregularity.
His objects embody the characteristics of the creative act: an open-ended process where the final piece is not preconceived but the result of a series of unpremeditated actions. To retain this sense of open-endedness, he uses a collage-like technique in which the fragments are pieced together by intuition and chance. He starts the process by using press moulds and slab building techniques. Whilst the clay is still soft, he tears, folds and distorts it. The materiality of the clay dictates the way in which the folds take shape. Every passing moment of creation informs the next, as do the material's intrinsic properties and the forces to which it is subject.
The result is a mass of juxtaposed forms that encourage the viewer to move around the object while exploring and discovering new relationships between light and shadow, solid and void.