Lockdown hasn't stunted the creativity of The Albany Gallery’s latest exhibitors
The four artists showing at The Albany Gallery’s latest exhibition have all sought inspiration from the natural world around them during the Covid-19 restrictions.
With works created throughout the past 12 months, artists Thomas Haskett, Peter Morgan, Malcolm Murphy and Eleanor Whiteman have come up with some beautiful, atmospheric paintings of landscapes around Pembrokeshire and South Wales.
Their work will be exhibited at the Albany Gallery from Thursday, 8th April to Saturday, 1st May.
Thomas Haskett was born and raised in rural Kent. He left to study illustration at Falmouth School of Art in Cornwall where he lived and worked for some time as a freelance illustrator. He's since relocated to the western fringes of Pembrokeshire where he focuses on his painting.
Much of Thomas's work features hauntingly beautiful images of the coastal county, from the sun glinting on the sea at Whitesands Beach to the coastal path at Newport.
“The paintings for this show span the previous year, and cover all the seasons and changes we’ve experienced throughout it,” says Thomas. “Quite a few of the paintings were made just as we emerged from the first lockdown, and before the hospitality sector reopened, so everywhere was really quiet and peaceful. We had one of the busiest summers I’ve ever seen, so I was glad to have been able to catch those few halcyon days.
“The vast majority of the work is of Pembrokeshire as we weren’t able to travel quite as much this year. We had a really long run of fine settled weather, that provided some beautiful warm evening light and some nice evenings for painting at the beach. We were also lucky enough to get some decent snow this winter, and coupled with some bright sunny days it made for some of my favourite paintings ever.”
Born in Pembrokeshire, Peter Morgan is most well-known for his dramatic whitewashed cottages hidden behind stone walls. Working mainly in acrylics, embracing a range of techniques including glazing, impasto and direct painting, he paints using layers of texture and colour to create images on card and canvas.
It was his daily lockdown walk that provided the perfect inspiration for his latest work.
“Lockdown has, for everyone, been a very peculiar experience,” says Peter. “For some artists, working on your own for long hours is similar. Having the added restriction to stay local to find inspiration can limit the mind and pallet.
“Luckily for me I live in a landscape full of character and charm. The ever-changing weather patterns during my daily walk have given me inspiration to look deeper at what is around me, to look at the light on the hedgerows and the cloud formation. Sometimes the sun made an appearance through the winter clouds. Even my old sketch books have been revisited for inspiration.
“I believe the current body of work on display at The Albany Gallery has more depth than previous years as I've limited my pallet of colours which are pushed around to form more movement.”
Malcolm Murphy has lived in South Wales all his life. His paintings use a range of media to portray expression and motion in the human form and from a diverse range of subjects (an example of his work, featuring Penarth, is pictured above).
This year he's gathered photos while out exercising and many of the works reflect Cardiff in lockdown.
“I've produced 13 oil-on-canvas paintings, in a variety of locations, mainly of our beautiful Cardiff, and some further away with depictions of Penarth, Barry Island and the wonderful Tenby,” says Malcolm.
“As ever a few of my pieces involve Cardiff’s infamous rainy settings, offering an opportunity to make full use of the glossy mirroring from the puddles left by the many downpours.”
Caerphilly-based print artist Eleanor Whiteman has a natural love for Pembrokeshire, which is a constant source of inspiration for her. She is a member of Cardiff Print Workshop, where she has access to a traditional printing press, but most of her work goes on in her studio where she burnishes the majority of her prints by hand.
“I've always been drawn to the coast and many of my childhood holidays were spent in Pembrokeshire,” says Eleanor. “The work in this exhibition includes both paintings and lino prints and is an exploration of my continued relationship with that place. The work was made from a combination of photographs, sketches and memory as I haven’t been able to visit during lockdown. Soon, I hope!”
Please check The Albany Gallery website for updated information on opening depending on Covid-19 restrictions. The exhibition will be online from Thursday, April 8th until Saturday, May 1st. www.albanygallery.co.uk or email: email@example.com