BEAT, Berkshire Environmental Action Team Art Show & Auction

I'm delighted to have had 3 root vegetable landscape paintings invited into the BEAT show and auction at the Stationery Factory in Dalton, Massachusetts.

Modern Hybrids

Un-Earthed

Roots in the Wind

Landscape, love and longing, ever present themes in my work, have led me into the contested nature of the idea of landscape in historical and contemporary visual culture, and in matters of environmental sustainability. That is why I am particularly grateful to be included in BEAT’S, Berkshire Environment Action Team’s, 1st Annual art show, Wild Berkshires opening 21 April with a silent auction 13 May 10am-6pm.

From the vantage point of my Keswick Ridge studio, in the three root vegetable paintings on exhibition and pictured here in the Artful Mind, you will see that mine is as an un-alienated, insider’s way of seeing and re-presenting land as the setting for life and work. The carrots, beets and turnips depicted here were harvested (and eventually cooked and eaten) from our organic farm, https://www.facebook.com/JemsegRiver/ Jemseg River Farm. Despite my urban roots, since childhood the stuff of the natural world, recast as landscape, has been my go to place for personal and social understanding.

 

When I am asked, “Were you thinking about all of this when you made these root veggie paintings?” my answer is always a resounding, “No!”  I had just completed a commissioned painting. Although it was an unexpected aesthetic and spiritually rich learning experience it was also soulless—an experience that took me away from myself, I was left feeling bereft. Without thinking I asked my husband to grab a bunch of carrots and beets so that I could get back to my palette. It was only on reflection that I realized my off handed request for root vegetables were not just about colour, but colour as a way for me to get back to myself, a way to heal. These works exude good health and celebrate the miracles that root vegetables are, but they remind us too that the health of the environment resides in each of our hands.