This October, Sarah Wiseman gallery will be showcasing the work of two artists exploring Oxford, each bringing their own particular vision of the city so familiar to many of us. Those of us living and working in Oxford, it's easy to take for granted what an extraordinary and rare treasure the city really is, and sometimes it's not until we see our home through visitor's eyes that this is revealed to us.
Emmie van Biervliet, who is based in Oxford, is possibly one of our most intrepid of our travelling artists, having reached as far as Cuba, India and the remote Mongolia Steppe. She has absorbed many sights, sounds and scents of places, listening to local lore and folk tales, all of which leaves its imprint on the landscape and buildings of a city over many centuries.
In her new series about Oxford, familiar buildings have been imbued with this sense of adventure and travel. Playing on a traveller's personal experience of exploring a city, she tends to exaggerate particularly exotic architectural features, allowing the viewer, who may be very familiar with Oxford, to feel that they are encountering the buildings for the first time, noticing new things that we normally take for granted.
Emmie has enjoyed working with the Oxford-based charity 'The Art Room' which uses art to boost children's self-esteem and independence, as artist in residence and senior practitioner over the last couple of years. She has recently been inspired by an art residency in Cappadocia.
Andrew Hood, who is based in Bristol, is also a travelling artist, making several trips per year in order to make his work. Andrew's specialism is creating landscape and city-scape using a mixture of expressionist and impressionist mark-making. Working in-situ, he makes rapid sketches, absorbing the atmosphere, colour, and weather-conditions of his chosen location, in beautiful sketchbooks crammed full of visual recordings. He then works these sketches into paintings ' using brushes, but also pieces of plastic, torn card, or whatever comes to hand. He uses splashes and drips, layered over washes of colour allowing the paint to describe movement and atmosphere. He will often work with paintings on the floor, from which emerge paintings with an unusual aerial perspective.
Andrew began to show his work in Oxford in 2006 at Sarah Wiseman Gallery, showing work made during travels around France, Morocco, Italy, Cornwall and Scotland. His work was an instant success, and has continued to be very popular with visitors to the gallery, with a great many of his paintings being added to private collections in Oxford and the surrounding area. It was during visit to Oxford to make drawings for a commission, that Andrew fell in love with the city, and now he has returned to create a complete collection inspired by it.