Unburdened Realities: Joy Arden / Rosalind Lawless / Christopher Wood

29 January - 10 March 2016

This exhibition offers another glimpse of the best of Abstract painting taking place in Scotland today. Following the success of our Abstract show last year we hope to bring you another refreshing take on reality. Real paint, real colour, real reactions in real time offer us new visions and communications of unburdened realities. 

Despite the world’s tastes changing constantly through technological advances, science, fashion, design and ideology, abstract art remains a constant, perhaps as a reaction to technology and the screen-based world. Real paint, real colour, real reactions in real time. The blank canvas is molded into new ideas, new visions and new context, which lets us pause to see our ever fluctuating lives in a new way.  There is an openness to abstraction never enclosed within a space but breathing beyond in a physical way, but also resonating and lasting in a mindful emotional sense. Perhaps if representation is to show us how the world looks, abstraction is there to unburden these realities and unlock our comprehension of the world in a sense based way. Here we have three artists exploring paint as a medium, communicating their individual messages about the world in which they find themselves.  Christopher Wood’s physical, expressionist paintings reflect the coastal environs around Dunbar where he lives.  Heavily textured and vibrant compositions using specifically natural materials drives him to look beyond the surface but into the depths and edges of space en-capturing the forces of the natural world. Self confident and bold rhythms, torn edges and delicate marks tempt us to look inward at our own internal energies; a clever transference of nature onto man.   Like with any relationship we absorb what we wish for in life from those things and people around us, the natural environment is a powerful personality that cant be ignored. Joy Arden’s subtle abstractions emit a different feel, a more restful and contemplative tone, one with the suggestion and acceptance of time passed. Chalky soft, layered paint and scratched surfaces leave traces and the feel of the presence of man. Joy’s work tentatively and sensitively balances the relationships between urban and natural landscape; man-made forms, weathered surfaces and atmospheric spaces instil a sense of the forgotten with assured fragments of the real. Rosalind Lawless offers us a different insight into abstraction exploring not the transient nature of space but the actual physical volume of space, (or air) which is defined by objects and surfaces.  She questions the notions of space contained, sensed and experienced. She says ‘even in the internal space of the studio, I believe that everything you work with is related to the room in which you are. It is exactly this belief that I bring to my work”. However formal the elements of tone, line, shape, colour and balance there is an enigmatic nature to her work, which generously loans to us the time to absorb the spaces she defines. This is a powerful gift to be given in such a fast world.