The Alchemy of Paint brings together works by five British Artists: Tom Coates, Fred Cuming RA, Julie Jackson NEAC, Mary Jackson NEAC and Andrew Roberts, each of whom utilise paint as a means of offering new perspectives on the observed world. Based principally upon direct observation of nature, the works demonstrate the expressive possibilities of the medium through gesture, texture and colour. The artists have translated real-life experiences into painterly equivalents; elevating, romanticising, and deepening our appreciation of the surroundings which are so often overlooked.
Tom Coates’ instinctive, improvisatory approach is met with outstanding draughtsmanship. It is this combination of technical skill and creative aptitude that has come to define his works, and is evident throughout The Alchemy of Paint. David Wolfers of the New Grafton Gallery said that the artist “paints with a sense of urgency and has a natural ability to express what he sees on canvas. He is a prolific painter for whom technique is second nature.”
Fred Cuming RA has devoted his life to expressing the fleeting impressions of his surroundings, often painting the South Coast of England around Hastings and Rye. He said “I am not interested in pure representation, my work is about responses to the moods and atmospheres generated by landscape, still life or interior. I am interested in the developments of 20th Century painting, in abstraction, that has been present in all movements, and in new ideas and art forms.”
Julie Jackson’s paintings are informed by a perceptual sensation of space and light – she embraces the “material reality of paint”, feeling and manipulating the medium to create lines and form. Discussing her creative process, she said “looking at the world through the experience of painting makes me see more, and see better. It creates a better understanding and connection to the world.”
Mary Jackson paints figurative, landscape and still life subjects in both oil and watercolour. The foundations of her work are laid away from the studio, something which the artists says “revitalises her perception”. She latterly works into the composition, focusing on light and tone to create a sense of distance and three-dimensionality.
Andrew Roberts starts his paintings plein-air, before adding multiple layers of paint and varnish in the studio to form a rich, impasto surface. The resulting texture is often evocative of the landscape itself, highlighting the transformative possibilities of paint, and its potential to create a sensory experience for artist and viewer alike.