Barbara Rae: Prints
With Scotland’s referendum on everyone’s lips, we’ve taken our sights to artists of the Highlands! The Pallant House Gallery is having a Scottish themed month, with exhibitions from the Scottish colourist J.D.Fergusson and Barbara Rae, a Scottish painter & printmaker inspired by travel and landscape. Taking a visit to my sister in Angmering, I decided to stop on route and immerse myself in vibrant colour!
I’ve not been to the Pallant House Gallery before and had half expected to get lost trying to find it, as my sense of direction is not the best! Luckily for my feet it was an easy 5 minute walk from the train station. They have a welcoming reception room and a garden courtyard café for when you want to re-energise!
The De’Longhi Print room, where Rae’s prints are being exhibited is free access, along with the Garden Gallery. Rae rejects the term ‘a landscape artist’, but uses its form as a starting point for her work. She is inspired by places for their stories, change, spiritual essence and individual uniqueness, and merges lines to create something abstract and playful. One of Scotland’s highly regarded colourists; she graduated from Edinburgh School of Art and gained a travel scholarship. She takes much of her inspiration from her travels to Ireland, France and her favourite, Spain.
“I return to old haunts to see what has altered since I was last there, what has weathered and degraded. I’m not a landscape painter. What interests me is anything altered by mankind’s hand, historic components, things that make the spirit of a place: an old farmhouse door surrounded by painted flower pots and rusted farm implements, a terraced hillside of grapevines harvested for centuries, a flotilla of higgledy – piggledy rooftops, punctuated by repaired tiles and eccentric chimneys” – Barbara Rae on the inspiration of the places she revisits.
Rae uses washes of bold colours which bring the warmth of locations to life. Using techniques such as pouring liquid over the work to blend the colour, she achieves depth and texture, with hues fading into each other. I just absolutely love her use of colour and abstraction and find myself completely drawn in, to what I can only describe as some kind of tranquillity! Two of my favourite pieces by Rae are Red Sky and Allotments. Again it’s the use of colour and textures, in which she captures the feeling of a place and gives it a sense of time.
The exhibition runs until the 26th October, with J.D Fergusson’s ending on 14th October, so be sure to catch a glimpse soon if you can! The gallery are also having a Scottish themed coffee morning supporting MacMillan, on Friday 26th September 10am – 12 Noon.
Robynne Willowby, September 2014.