AboutPacked with incident George Rowlett's paintings are restless and alive. Made on the spot they catch and reflect light, the paint constantly on the go, thick and turbulent, delicate and sturdy they are laden with evidence of the seen and the experienced. They are a celebration of sustained spontaneity; a do or die form of brinksmanship to capture a fleeting moment in an ever changing subject, and make it real.
Known for his landscapes of East Kent and the riverscapes of London, Rowlett's range of subject is considerably broader. Since 2005 when he took up the challenge of a residency in Wales to paint in Capel y ffin, he has spent a part of each year painting other places in the British Isles and occasionally venturing abroad. In the spring of 2011 his Scottish roots were awakened when he accepted an invitation to join another painter in Cnoc-a-Lin on the west coast of North Uist in the Outer Hebrides where he worked every day, whatever the weather, to make the paintings that form the major substance of this exhibition.
Perched precariously out in the Atlantic Ocean this predominantly low-lying landmass is buffeted by huge seas and has a climate that changes from dense mist and cloud to bright sunshine in the space of an hour, and Rowlett has rejoiced in the challenge. It is not his way to make preliminary sketches, he goes straight in, the stakes high from the outset but from years of daily observation he has evolved a stunning ability to seize a moment and his ability to re-enact the drama of nature in oil paint is everywhere apparent in these paintings.
Born in Troon on the West Coast of Scotland in 1941, George Rowlett attended Camberwell School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. This will be his 18th solo exhibition at Art Space Gallery. To mark the occasion a 30 page catalogue with 22 colour plates has been published.
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