Sarah Dawnay, Andrea Elles, Richard Goldsworthy and Annabel Stogdon present their work together for the first time. Despite the striking differences between their individual approach to making art each of these Scottish-based artists are concurrent in their deep interrogation of the formal qualities and perceptual concerns of their respective disciplines. Curated by the artists themselves, the large empty space is reenergised by the full-bodied, organic forms of the artists’s work that punctuate the walls and floors.
Sarah Dawnay’s art is imbued with the colours and forms of her Highland childhood and her Scottish Borders home. Her increasingly abstracted oil and acrylic paintings are principally focussed on this distinctive landscape characterised by far-reaching views and rapidly changing weather. Her paintings embody the drama and dynamism of these natural forces through flurries of lines and marks that reinforce the bold swathes of colour. Robin Child and Arthur Neal have been key figures in her journey as a painter.
Andrea Elles, who is similarly inspired by the work of Child and Neal, takes abstraction to different heights with a focus on the composed tension between colour, form and texture. She studied and worked as a photographer in Edinburgh in the 1970s but has since become a compulsive painter. Her strengths lie in her relentless examination of the painted and printed surface. Her decision-making process is routed in her in-depth studying of visual artists, both past and present and as such each piece has been deeply considered and hard-won despite her work’s apparent resolve and calm stability.
Richard Goldsworthy’s work rouses a similar degree of contemplative calm. By virtue of the intriguing sculptural forms that he arrives at he seeks to engage viewers in moments of slowed reflection; a mode of engagement that he feels is being slowly compromised by the demands of contemporary life. Through processes of carving, charring, bleaching and casting, he, as a craftsman, physically transforms the wood, playfully pitching the blackened scorches, the brilliant cast metal and the natural appearance of the wood against each other in strident contrasts. He is highly influenced by the work of several Asian artists and is soon to embark on a study trip to South Korea made possible by the Royal Scottish Academy’s Barns Graham Travel Award which he won earlier this year.
Annabel Stogdon is much more concept driven and uses paint to follow specific lines of enquiry regarding how we sense reality. The work made for this exhibition explores the relationship that humans have with the sea. Intrigued by the never-ending construction of static homes along the coast of Britain she seeks to understand the deep-seated homing instinct that we have towards the coastline and the psychological pull that this conjunction of geology, sky and sea impress upon us. She is hugely inspired by the writings of aesthetic philosophers and the way in which we perceive reality, as such she employs raw pigment to juxtapose the more traditionally painted elements.