15 September – 9 October 2021
Susan Absolon / Joe Packer / Paula MacArthur / Rachel Lancaster / Paul Smith
PaintLounge : Exhibitions & conversations about contemporary painting.
Supernature brings together five painters, all of whom make paintings that could be considered, in part, to be a contemplation or examination of, our relationship with nature. A questioning of we actually mean when we talk about ‘nature’? In an age where mankind’s relationship with the natural world could be considered fractured, alienated and volatile, is it even possible for painting to respond to these relationships?
Can an artist still take a celebratory approach to ideas of ‘nature’ and ‘landscape’? If it is to be a questioning response, that addresses the seemingly overwhelming concerns around global warming and climate change, is the act of painting a medium that can really address these concerns? Rather than trying to face the vastness of these issues head on, all the artists in this show are in some way coming at them sideways. Looking at the peripheral details, seeking the sublime in unlikely places, to capture a sense of a particular location, or finding parallels between their intuitive making processes and nature’s dynamism, sometimes to use as a vehicle for the artists own other concerns.
My paintings come out of a process that combines personal narrative with unrelated political narrative, or with poetic or visual stimuli. Through their merger and the serendipity of paint, the narratives and motifs turn into a new, unintended thing with a less dependable reality.
Rachel Lancaster’s practice is focused on painting and its intersections with the languages of cinema, music and photography. ‘Stills’ from found moving imagery, photographs from her own archive, alongside drawings based on imagery from her minds eye are selected from, edited and then translated into oil paintings.
The current focus of Paula MacArthur’s work is crystals and jewels, these are explorations of colour and light, a contemporary response to Dutch 17th century Pronkstilleven painting – ostentatious still life. Solitary, precious stones are captured in the spotlight, displayed as icons which lure us in and quietly invite us to investigate the multifaceted associations we bring to these treasures of the earth.
Joe Packer describes his paintings as ‘invented landscapes with a psychological element’, and says he is ‘trying to evoke the memory of a place’ whilst at the same time, ‘imagery and form evolve through making processes that are not preplanned or prescriptive’. The consequent paintings visually function in a self -contained way, with a kind of inner life of their own. For him ‘the paintings occupy a kind of hinterland between abstraction and figuration, where the spaces depicted allude and relate to landscape, without being overtly descriptive’. These paintings, with their dense layers of interwoven organic forms pushed up against the picture plane, suggest an emersion in an almost cartoon idea of nature.
My work documents my interest in the lost and the found, what is passing out of memory and what is synthesised as trace in the landscape. Exploring lost places and capturing the essence of a moment of abandonment has been part of my practice since my earliest work, photographing the post-industrial landscape of the North East. More recently I have used these explorations of localities on the verge of returning to unofficial wilderness in dialogue with found material. Working between these two sources has informed a broader turn in my works to consider layerings and cuttings: the process of collage by which territory is shaped into landscape by human action.
Supernature Workshops & talks
Private view and artists’ talk 6pm Wednesday 6 October
Join exhibitors Susan Absolon, Joe Packer and Paul Smith for drinks in the gallery and a chance to look around the exhibition after hours.
The artists will talk about their work with time for questions and discussion at the end.
Free no booking required
Children’s Art Workshop with Supernature exhibitor Paul Smith
Saturday 25 September 10.30 – 11.30am
Supernature artist Paul Smith will host a children’s art workshop looking at and taking inspiration from the exhibition to create Supernature artworks of their own.All materials provided Suitable for ages 7-14£3 per child, parents welcome
Booking required at https://www.paintlounge.info/supernature-events
Exhibition tour with the artists 2pm Saturday 25 September
Join exhibitors Susan Absolon, Paula MacArthur, Joe Packer and Paul Smith in the gallery for a walk around the show.
Learn more about the artists’ work and join in the conversation about the ideas within the Supernature theme.
Free no booking required
One to one mentoring sessions for Artists with Paula MacArthur & Joe Packer
Wednesday 22nd and Monday 27th September
Book a 50-minute session with either Paula or Joe to discuss your visual art practice. You decide the focus and get useful, insightful, and constructive advice and input about your practice.
This could be a portfolio review, discussion about your work, help with social media or feedback on your website, statement etc.
£35 for a 50-minute session Booking at https://www.paintlounge.info/supernature-events
Joe Packer was awarded the Contemporary British Painting prize in 2018. Recent exhibitions include ‘Dialogues’ curated by Alastair Hicks at the London Art Fair 2020, ‘Its Gonna Rain’ at Coombs Contemporary, London 2019-20, ‘Supernature’ at Auxillary Space Middlesbrough, and Rye Creative Centre Rye, 2019-20 and the Contemporary British Painting Prize Exhibition, Menier Gallery, London, 2019, and Huddersfield Art Gallery, Yorkshire, 2018. He studied painting at the Royal College of Art 1992-94 and Norwich School of Art 1989-92. He lives and works in St Leonards, East Sussex.
Paula MacArthur trained at The Royal Academy Schools where she was awarded the RA Schools Prize for Painting & now works from her studio in Rye, East Sussex.
Solo exhibitions include Verse at Kaleidoscope Gallery, Sevenoaks in 2018 & Infinitely Precious Things at VJB Arts, 60 Threadneedle Street in 2015. Group exhibitions include Made in Britain – Gdansk 2019, PaintLounge – Berlin 2018, Slippery & Amorphous – London & NYC
In 1993 Paula was a prizewinner at John Moores 18 & in 1989 she won the NPG John Player Portrait Award. Her work is held in several permanent collections including Jiangsu Museum of Art – China, Goodnestone Park, Kent, Priseman Seabrook Collection, National Portrait Gallery, London , Baron & Baroness von Oppenheim