Explorations is a show of work by three Walthamstow women, friends, who meet regularly to share and critique one another’s work; questioning, encouraging, inspiring and motivating. They are Linda Green whose intensely jewel-like pieces are inspired by poetry and borne out of visits exploring Epping Forest. Saskia Huning - a specialist decorator on historic buildings by profession who explores the still-life in her personal work with a lively spontaniety. And Ali Reader whose recent work combines photography and painting to create images that explore her memories of the majestic landscape and fleeting weather of the Highlands of Scotland.
As a painter Linda admits to a continual struggle with exploring the tension between, our rational need to seek out recognisable elements in an image and an intuitive response which pushes towards the more expressive and abstract. She is particularly interested in conveying the layers and ambience of place, time and memory.
T.S. Eliot’s poems that comprise his Four Quartets (written between 1936-1943) have been the starting point for one of Linda’s on-going series. The four poems are an extended meditation upon time, place and spiritual significance, and structured around the four seasons and the four elements. Linda says her “struggle to externalise the images and feelings which these poems evoke seems to have resonances with Eliot himself” when he wrote ‘Trying to use words, and every attempt is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure.’
Another painting series ‘Forest’ evokes something of the spirit of the place and the experience of being in Epping Forest. Linda, who was born locally, has walked in the forest since she was a baby and for her it is like a church, a cathedral, a sanctuary, a place for silence and reveries as well as a place to play. Linda feels that she has internalised both the Forest and Eliot’s Four Quartets to such an extent that elements of both emerge unconsciously in much of her work.
A specialist decorator by trade Saskia can often be found recreating a rococo ceiling decoration in the ballroom of the Savile Club in Mayfair or graining doors and bronzing balusters at Kenwood House but she’s also an artist. Her art is influenced by her profession, working in historic houses and churches, repairing and recreating historic wall paintings and painted finishes.
Saskia is interested in the methods used to apply paint and colour, and in traditional techniques. She prepares her own paints, both for historic projects and for her own work. Saskia has a great love of gardens and flowers and her current paintings combine spontaneous abstract background patterns with still life drawings in pencil, pen and ink.
After many years analysing the layers and underpainting of ancient murals and peeling panels for perfect repairs and retouching, Saskia uses layering in her own paintings. She uses thin washes of colour, often utilising a particular set of colours left over from a retouching project. Building up the layers in an intuitive spontaneous way, Saskia gets a thrill of danger as these translucent layers can’t be corrected if they go wrong.
“I like the physical feel of creating the different shapes in the background patterns and am driven by the pleasure of creating these swirling patterns. Usually I’ll be accompanied by good music set on repeat as I like to paint to the same thing for a group of paintings” she says. “Incorporating the still life is a completely different discipline, and a balancing act, to make sure that the background with its strong colours and shapes harmonises with the still life. It’s fascinating how one element changes the other”.
Highlands Revisited - Exploratory Studies
With a degree in Textile Design and further studies in print making, Ali went on to run her own business designing and manufacturing textile products. Using these disciplines, along with collage and painting, she creates mixed media works, often using recycled materials, inspired by Hannah Hoch, Richard Diebenkorn and Anselm Kiefer among many others. The new work is a group of exploratory studies in response to landscapes she exhibited at the 2018 E17 Art Trail.
“The imagery for ‘Highlands Revisited’ came from a series of photos taken on my hiking expedition in the Highlands of Scotland around Torridon many years ago. Where I have used these manipulated photos in the artwork, they remind me of visits to the launderette when I lived in Edinburgh and the vast photographic Alpine scene it had across an entire wall which I loved for its kitsch but also for the escape it provided, allowing me to ‘be’ somewhere else.
“The idea behind the Highland Series came indirectly from sorting out my parents attic 5 years ago. The process of clearing made me very aware that we should not treat anything as too precious to use – either enjoy it and risk it breaking/spoiling/wearing it out or pass it on. We should surround ourselves with the things we love, not keep them wrapped up for safekeeping only to have to be sorted out by whoever is lucky enough to land that job when our time comes.
“While trying to edit my box of photos last year I came across the Highland images. Instead of throwing them out I decided to use them to create a series of artworks so that I could enjoy views of the Highlands, somewhere I consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the world, whilst living in the city.”
The window gallery is a street-facing-only exhibition space that is visible 24 hours a day, and lit until approx. midnight every day. It is close to cafes, bars, shops and restaurants that offer any refreshment you might need.
Here's a handy Google map showing the location of gallery.
ON FOOT/PUBLIC TRANSPORT
8 minute walk from Walthamstow Central (Zone 3, Victoria Line or Overground from Liverpool Street or Chingford) 15 minute walk from Wood Street station (Zone 4, Overground from Liverpool Street or Chingford)
When electrification works are completed on the GOBLIN Line (Feb 2017) we will be a 15 minute walk from Queens Road station (Zone 3, Overground from Gospel Oak to Barking Line, including Kentish Town, Crouch Hill, Blackhorse Road, Leytonstone High Road)
Parking in the area is FREE after 6.30pm and all day Sunday (except in loading/disabled bays etc). At other times 'permit holder only' restrictions are in place. Please note that the short shopping section of Orford Road is no entry to traffic (except buses) during the day (10am-10pm) when fines are in place.