Perpetual Discovery: Janet Melrose / Frances Walker / Jennifer Watt

30 April - 18 June 2016

We at Tatha are thrilled to have played a significant role in brokering a living bequest from Frances Walker to The McManus: Dundee’s Art Gallery and Museum. Perpetual Discovery runs at the same time as The Antarctic Suite is being shown in The McManus exhibition ‘Charting New Waters: Recent Acquisitions to the City’s permanent collection’. Frances hopes that her example will provide a model for other artists to follow. There is no other artist who reflects perpetual discovery better than Frances.  As a seventy five year old, continuing her love for isolated places and the search for the sublime, Frances headed to the Antarctic, charting for her, new waters in which to discover novel fascinators for her perpetually young mind. We are delighted to once again be showing her work. Pauses, glimpses, gatherings of notions, observations, musings, enthusiasms and recollections, the work of these four Artists, three painters and one sculptor is not merely about sentiment or nostalgia but responses and perhaps passing metaphors to the feeling of time slowed. Yet this exhibition, Perpetual Discovery also embraces the idea of growth and renewal and celebrates the cyclical nature with the continuous artistic process of observation, memory, vision and self -expression. They are not conventional painters of nature and still life but each cast a fresh and intuitive light upon the their love of colour and depiction of form.  For Janet her paintings convey a succession of glimpses, she tells a story of the things she discovers and leads the viewer on a journey through the landscape she knows so well. She remembers the quick pleasures with her playful and lyrical pieces perhaps capturing a walk along the river quite poetically with minimal brush-work. Cathy Campbell’s beautiful and restful still life interior paintings are a celebration of natural light almost as though capturing a moment in time. They emit the feeling of light reflected and carry warmth far beyond the canvas. A time element is complex in these paintings because once finished they appear instantaneous. Jenny Matthews explores nature perhaps in a more formal fashion but with the twist of elegance and gentleness that comes from understanding plants and flowers both within and out with their natural environment. Her paintings are the equivalent of pressing a pause button on nature.  Caught in suspension for the time it takes to record and celebrate. Jennifer Watt’s sculptures bring the exhibition in full circle helping to create a beautiful human and personal dimension to this show. Her simple cast figures standing in contemplation and observation of life happening around them. The human personal experience of time passing, exploring the works of these artists is indeed an exciting process of Perpetual Discovery.