In Maud Hewlings’ work we glimpse the fleeting shadows cast by a poetic, nomadic life driven by a searching mind; rich and full of stories, memories, of deeply felt experience and witty observations.
Seeking inspiration in nature, folk-law and local traditions, Maud set off to live and work among rural farming communities in North-Eastern Romania, the extreme West coast of Ireland and around the UK. Here she found people who maintain a strong connection to the history and magic of the land through song, iconography, craft and ritual. Absorbing these influences, Maud then weaves her own fabric of thoughts and images that emerge from her personal experience of walking through a landscape, in reverie, open-hearted and receptive to everyday moments of grace.
This transient and enchanted life has found appropriate and mystic form in these images; we see ships, totemic creatures; roaming horses and birds on the wing, migrating across a world ever-shifting between light and darkness, a perpetual ‘magic hour’. We see wild, remote landscapes, weather-swept, and urban environments turned theatre for a cast of light-footed ghosts that dance a beguiling, mysterious narrative before our eyes.
Jonathan Farr creates tightly wrought and considered compositions that bring together images and ideas from observation, memory and imagination, which also reflect the richness of his life as an artist of poetic sensibility. Using drawings from sketchbooks, he teases out motifs which connect past and present, drawing out meaning from his own memories through an intuitive association of disparate images which, when combined, take on a new and expanded resonance.
“My friend Ana Maria, a Mexican boxer, having her hands bound by two male trainers... my stepdad washing up... at once interior and exterior; a woodland inside a kitchen, or a dressing room in a rural landscape”.
In dreams, we take the incongruous as normal. The dreamlike quality of Jonathan’s work gives him the freedom to courageously summon and marry ideas, and the openness of his process of drawing with charcoal ensures that the overall composition is always in mind; elements within the picture can be drawn and reworked until they sit well. These metamorphic images take flight in his drawn animations and transform with a graceful and lyrical unfurling through time.
About the artists
Maud Hewlings graduated from Fine Art at Kingston in 2004, returning to education in 2012 to study on the post-graduate programme, The Drawing Year at The Royal Drawing School, London, where she was awarded the Chairman’s Prize (Panel: Andrea Rose, Graham Southern, Andrew Stahl, Sydney Picasso). Since then she has been granted residencies in Hatley (Cambridgeshire), Valeni (Romania) and Cill Raillig (Ireland), and was chosen as a C4RD online artist in residence in 2014.
Jonathan Farr was born in Oxford in 1973. He studied sculpture at the Slade (1993-7) and on the Drawing Year at The Royal Drawing School (2010-11). He has lived and worked as a children’s book illustrator and writer in Mexico City and now teaches drawing and stop-frame animation in London. He also writes and performs songs, some with animated accompaniments.
Mercer Chance Gallery, 253 Hoxton St, N15LG
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