“Blue” group art exhibition of artwork inspired by the colour and mood blue by artist who are members of the London Professional Artists Network
For its inaugural group show, the London Professional Artists Network is exhibiting the artwork of six London-based artists on the theme Blue as a colour, mood, or symbolic reference. This art exhibition brings together diverse influences from geometrical abstractions, to studies of the female nude, from meditations on blue as a mood, to the colour that saturates even our most urban industrial landscapes, blue surrounds us on a daily basis. In its very first show, the London Professional Artists Network will showcase the diverse artwork of six professional artists who find particular inspiration in the colour blue presenting a show that is both cohesive around a central colour and yet diverse in the variety of artworks and media explored.
Studies show that blue is the favourite colour of more than half the population. Why is that? In the natural world of flora and fauna, the colour blue is very rare. And yet it is so prevalent in the two biggest areas of reality that capture our attention and our imagination – the sky and bodies of water. Perhaps so many of us are drawn to the colour blue because it is always out of reach. The blue sky feels miles away – you can’t touch it, you can’t interact and engage with it, like you can with a red rose, or a green leaf or an orange, well, orange. Blue water loses its colour the second you try to take some with you. The second you plunge your hands into the sea and cup them to hold some water in, the colour changes. It is most certainly no longer blue. Perhaps it is this distance yet ubiquity of the colour blue that makes it particularly captivating, significant and emotive for humans.
London artist Lowell Johnson uses blue to create a sense of nostalgia in his paintings of industrial urban cityscapes. Even in a large developed city such as London, blue is all around us, reflecting off all the metallic and glass surfaces around us. Blue is particularly effective in the geometric abstractions of artist Joanna Gilbert. Angles, geometry, perspective and space are the foundations of her work. She creates abstract paintings based on the city skyline, new buildings and reflections in their blue glass facades.
Blue is a particularly symbolic colour. It is one of those colours that humans ascribe substantial importance and meaning. Sometimes, this symbolism is seen as good including references to purity, saintliness, humility, and an ethereal otherworldliness. Often, blue symbolizes calmness, contemplation and serenity. London artist Ellen Von Wiegand’s linocut prints speak to this symbolism. Blue features regularly in Ellen’s work, both as a colour, and in the air of melancholy that often surrounds her figures as they sit in quiet introspection. Artist Natasha Nejman’s artwork uses blue to lend an air of regal importance to the subject matter of her artworks part of her mixed media portraits collection. Combined with accents of warmer colours, Natasha’s paintings speak to blue’s ability to complement other colours literally and symbolically.
And yet, there is the undeniable negative symbolism of the colour blue – if you feel blue, you are sad. Singing the blues is singing songs of melancholy melody. Numerous references in literature link the colour blue with sadness, including Geoffrey Chaucer’s lyrical quote “with tears blue and with a wounded heart” in his poem “The Complaint of Mars”. Artist Rómulo Gonçalves uses blue as a colour reference and a mood for his series of paintings entitled “Thinking Heads of Timed Obsolescence”. Through the literal use of blue and its symbolic references, he explores human emotions and motivations all against a backdrop of philosophical thought.
Modern day paint is available in a huge variety of blues – from the dense dark indigo through to ultramarine pure blue and into cobalt blue and into pale almost translucent blues. Blue is captivating and eye catching. It’s expansive. Often, blue means space. Whether water or sky, blue expands across the painting to carry the eye of the viewer. Blue is fundamentally an expansive colour – one that speaks of freedom and wilderness and space – endless space – expanding space. For artist Vera Blagev, it is this aspect of blue that is the most significant – its ability to speak of space, and freedom and opportunity. To speak to the natural world references of her artwork that is rooted in a deep respect and love of nature.