“In our path through life, we all leave traces. They are foundin the landscape, in the marks we make, in the detritus we create and discard, in the memories we leave in the minds of others. Even the simple act of respiration leaves a trace of our passing.”
It is the first time that these three artists from different backgrounds and practices have exhibited together and the current body of work provides us with tantalizing glimpses of their individual journeys through life.
Sue McDougall’s early career was as a journalist and writer. That changed in 2010 when in a chance conversation she complained how she was forced to give up art at school. On being told that it was not too late, she went to study art at Brighton University, taking an MA in 2015. Sue McDougall uses a wide range of materials that enable her to explore time, entropy and existence. Her work includes paintings and sculptures and things that are a mixture of the two. InTraces, she will be including a selection of paintings. “My art arises from the conflict between my intellectual conviction that this life is all that there is and my emotional difficulty in accepting that this is the case. I firmly believe that our consciousness stems from the neurons of our brain and that when we die that consciousness is extinguished. But if we ourselves vanish, the traces that we leave behind do not. In this exhibition, I imagine these traces engraved in the earth, suspended in air, or in water, the ghosts of generations long past, of our younger selves, or a pointer of what we might become.”
Kate Gritton studied at Guildhall University in London and is an active artist with regular exhibitions at Hastings Arts Forum where she also volunteers. Working with paint and print, her focus is landscape, the stories it could tell and its natural and inevitable evolution. “Inspired by natural elements, I am constantly seeking essences, what lies beneath or beyond the surface… the effects of time and tide, for decay, erosion or sedimentation hide untold histories…” She uses the interaction between land and humanity to create an atmospheric depth, inviting the audience to ask questions on our impact on the land we inherit and equally its impact on us. The series of paintings within Traces seeks to evoke a sense of wounding, evidenced by scars on the land. This may be from natural disaster or human intervention. Fire, flood, industrial exploitation, war and waste all leave visible marks on the earth’s surface, but what lies hidden may inflict even deeper wounds.
Mary Beaney is also a local artist with a well-known reputation around the East Sussex region. Having studied at Eastbourne College of Art & Technology, she was one of the founding members of Chalk Gallery in Lewes and is now an active member within the Pure Arts Group based in Battle. She has explored a variety of mediums and currently enjoys the use of acrylic and mixed media, using a layering technique to create subtle depth. Tackling portraiture, still life, flowers, and landscapes, there is an organic elegance to her work bringing a nostalgic presence. She will be exhibiting artworks in Traces that present memory and time through texture and text.
The exhibition is on for two weeks from the 31st October to 12 November.