Sense of Space: Virginia Ray and Jessica Jordan1. Feb - 16. Mar 13 / ended New Ashgate Gallery
The family of Virginia Ray has lived in North Yorkshire for generations and she has a real sense of family identity in this place. Virginia explores Greenhow Hill, the highest village in Yorkshire, in an area designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty. However, with a long history of lead mining and quarrying, this is an industrial landscape; it is a scarred landscape. As an artist and historian, her paintings seek to confirm the idea that landscape is first and foremost a site of history, a documentation of life and events that is deeply interwoven with the aspirations and concerns of man. Her painterly structure becomes a strata of memory, of events and of people. Virginia is currently developing her practice by studying for an MA in Fine Art, at UCA Farnham.
The work by Virginia is shown with Jessica Jordan, the ceramic artist from Littlehampton, West Sussex. Jessica uses aerial views of the downs, looking at the changing landscape through the seasons. She develops her ideas through drawing, print and paint keeping a sketchbook of ideas. She explores corroded surfaces, the contrast of rough and smooth line and the patterns and texture that are found on stones, wood, glass and metal having been weathered and broken down from natural erosion.
Jessica explores shape and surface. While her work is natural in form and keeps with the tradition of hand building, Jessica believes that craft and art should be one category. Jessica works on coloured slips and/or oxides them like a painter who applies paint on a canvas. Jessica says:
I love to see how the landscape changes from month to month and the effects of farming on the land, leaving patterns by man and nature. I find freedom when playing around with clay; in its flexibility. There is nothing like getting lost in the making and constructing of a form.
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