Nature lover Maggie Brown returns to The Albany Gallery with stunning pictures of ever-changing landscapes
Artist Maggie Brown has always immersed herself in the landscape around her. Whether it’s a huge field or a small garden, Maggie loves to explore how the unique scenery is influenced by changing light and circumstances.
Her latest show at The Albany Gallery in Cardiff, from Thursday May 6th until Saturday May 29th, is inspired by Maggie’s lifelong love of nature and the diverse landscape.
The Pembrokeshire-based artist constantly sketches and paints outdoors, attempting to capture the weather, topography and how the light plays with clouds, the sky and land, throughout the seasons.
“I'm forever hopeful this capturing of light creates the mood and time of year," she says. "Forever in awe of the myriad of changes. This contrast can be seen when comparing the depth of wild, wet, windy winter of ‘The Brown Earth’ and the hopefulness of spring in ‘Study of Elizabeth’s Field’ (pictured).
"In more recent semi-abstract paintings, I felt the need to pare down the detail and colour and create the feeling of earth energy and seasons by use of texture, glue and sand, with added bits of wood shaving as well as mark-making, using a variety of tools with different energies - a six-inch brush contrasting with a thin controlled line using a sword liner.”
An artist since achieving a BA in textile design at Winchester College of Art in 1979, Maggie sketches outside and then goes back to her studio to create the dramatic scenes. She spent lockdown drawing and painting on a much smaller scale, with a postcard every week which she would send to a fellow nature lover.
“Since 2018 I've been wilding my garden, realising that I needed to be more proactive with conserving and trying to give our ever-diminishing flora and fauna a helping hand,” she explains. “This whole experience of focusing on the garden, to observe, paint and record so many species and habitats has been truly eye-opening and immensely rewarding.
“I've found small differences do make huge changes. The painting ‘Charming’ (above), depicting a charm of goldfinches, came from my need to highlight the constant demise of our song birds, trying to show the beauty and how exhilarating to be all encompassed in the senses, of seeing and hearing such a great sight. They make a beautiful ‘tinkling’ sound, en masse, like water in a stream.
"I like to think that my paintings can evoke in the onlooker, a sense of wellbeing, the joy and exhilaration that our countryside can offer and the importance of being aware and doing all we can to help in its conservation.”
ART OF GLASS
Ruth Shelley’s stunning glassware will also be part of the exhibition. Ruth is an award-winning glass artist from Cardiff, specialising in contemporary glass design using vivid, dramatic colour in kiln-formed glass.
Ruth, who won the Glass Sellers Award at the British Glass Biennale in 2015, has received many awards from the Welsh Arts Council and is a member of the Contemporary Glass Society and the Makers Guild of Wales. She is inspired by travelling and the love of nature around her, including the beautiful Roath Park in Cardiff and the landscape of mid-Wales where she grew up.
Through layered glass she creates a dialogue of lines, patterns and colour and always observes how the colours and layers combine as a whole, and how light illuminates them.
The exhibition takes place from Thursday May 6th to Saturday, May 29th. Opening hours are Monday to Wednesday (appointment only) and Thursday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm. www.albanygallery.com