Elizabeth Hannaford’s work is a celebration of the worlds of nature and music. “Her vision is underpinned by intuitive mark-making, a sense of drawing in paint, rich subconscious evocations of sound and place, and a sensuous, exquisite quality of surface.” (Clare Cooper, Director, Art First, London W1).
She does not set out to create abstract works. The abstraction is a by-product of trying to find marks and colours which communicate more than the visual experience, particularly in her response to music. Her raw, untouched landscapes are becoming ‘less abstract, more real’, with a new organic figuration emerging from the way she handles paint. After a recent road trip to Namibia, animals have been making an appearance.
The work is underpinned by many years of drawing the moving human figure. Hannaford’s fascination with space, energy and movement, as well as with the power of the drawn line, is evident in this exhibition.
The work is predominantly oil on canvas, where she uses thin glazes of paint in a way reminiscent of water colour, sometimes adding sand or grit and occasionally found objects. For her works on unprimed linens she uses a variety of mixed media, including bleach. The scale of the work included in this exhibition ranges from large canvases, to tiny postcard drawings and watercolours.
More recently, like Hockney, she has experimented digitally, using her iPhone as an extension of her painting practice. The iPhone art included in this show was created during a live performance by David Gordon at St Martin-in-the-Fields and later displayed as an installation in concert with his jazz trio at London’s Kings Place. Hannaford’s idea and method of presenting these images is original.
Together Hannaford and Gordon will host an evening musical event at the gallery to celebrate and describe their joint work. Two original compositions by Gordon, in response to Hannaford’s art, can also be heard via headphones throughout the course of the exhibition.
Hannaford lives and works locally, having recently moved her studio from Peckham. She has worked full time as an artist since the late nineties after abandoning two earlier careers to paint - as City lawyer and state registered art therapist. Her work has been collected and exhibited widely, including at London's Royal Academy of Arts, Royal College of Art and leading London commercial galleries, and can be viewed at www.elizabethhannaford.com.
Hannaford’s first show, “The Moving Figure”, was at The Square Gallery, Pond Square, Highgate in 1991, while she was still a lawyer. We are delighted to see her back in Highgate for this evocative, intriguing and strong show.
The exhibition includes collaborative work with musician DAVID GORDON. “I have played with many great musicians, but tonight I have shared the stage with one of England’s finest musicians and composers, David Gordon”. (Christopher Warren-Green, Music Director/Conductor London Chamber Orchestra )