“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most…” John Ruskin
There is something very honest about the love of colour. With an innocence and openness refined through years of enquiry, Brigitte Hague cites the work of Albert Irvin and Howard Hodgkin as key influences. Her distinctive screen prints are the culmination of an inner journey in colour. A mature artist, her life has been tinged with the experience of loss and family illness.
Hague’s focus and escape is a meditative, emotive journey through colour and expression.
An accomplished screen-printer, Hague chooses the onerous technique of the monoprint. Her original prints are one-offs, a storyboard of subconscious thought and actions that come together to make each piece unique.
Bold, linear shapes are combined with expressive gestural configurations that form swathes of colour with a vibrance reminiscent of exotic flowerbeds. The colourscapes exude a flamboyance and energy. Stare a while and you will also see a fragility where the delicate translucent shapes appear to overlap and fade into the distance. Lively and demanding of one’s attention, on closer inspection they also give away notions of a sensory quietness.
Subtle changes in Hague’s more recent works show a honing in and a bold ability to eliminate elements that are on the periphery of her language. I detect a pre-occupation and search for a singular expression and meaningful clarity. There is an ‘Op’ art inclusion, a doubling of mark making that resonates with the eye and gives off a vibrato movement of the traces made. They resonate like tunes waiting to be played. Colour and expression is so connected to emotion. The works in this exhibition are a snapshot of the artist she
The prints exude the primal sensuality of Matisse’s palette and the meticulous geometry of Bridget Riley. They are often punctuated by a single line, rhythmically curvacious, cutting through the shapes and gestural marks overlaid behind, or is it in front? The viewer must enter into a metaphorical passage that leads you through the colour, beyond the linear and gestural arrangements and back again.
The radiant forms and multiple layers give an illusion of depth and a sense of entering into the unknown, of walking through a fleeting vision, an expression enveloped in time…
SUSAN GUNN 2017