Paperworks 4 – Marion Barron, Trevor Davies and Ruth Thomas – the beauty of nature with painterly precision
During the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2015, I was delighted to see an exhibition by the Working Lines Collective entitled Paperwork 2 at the Ski Club, Howe Street. As I wrote in my 5 star review on Edinburgh Guide:
Paperwork 2 is an evocative, inspirational collection of diverse yet complementary work, the nuances of shade, line, pattern and composition all pleasing to the eye, as you wander from room to room”.
This year for ten days in August, the Working Lines Collective was back with Paperwork 4, featuring Trevor Davies, Marion Barron and Ruth Thomas, who met and studied at Edinburgh College of Art.
While their Festival Fringe 2017 exhibition is now over, this is an illustrated feature to promote their creatively-crafted Paperworks.
Inspired by contemporary urban landscape, Marin Barron studies the concept of the structure and fabric of buildings: “My recent research has focussed on the aesthetic of post war Brutalist buildings. I explore pattern, form, colour, line and space, the environmental and social aspects, although the visual aspects are of greater interest to me”.
Marion paints in oil on linen, canvas or paper, slowly developing the surface for a strong depth in colour, tone and texture, such as here in “Fold”.
These vibrant colours are most effective, drawing the eye in to study the graceful geometric line and shape. With its backdrop in soft cream and grey, the simple yet bold columns of crimson and coral in “Structure” is also a striking, architecturally-defined image.
Trevor Davies is a master of delicate still life drawings, impressionistic landscapes as well as fine figurative sketches. Heading in a more abstract direction is a series of minimalist landscapes such as Duddingston Loch(1). This comprises a strip of newspaper column, the Lonely Hearts page with tiny requests starting with four letters, WLTM: a whimsical, richly textured work.
Twenty-Two is also an amazing combination of watercolour, muslin, oil, graphite and newspaper on paper. In similar mode to the artist Philip Reeves, these collages involve a process of distilling the theme down to the materials, then re-building the image as a layered construct.
In his quietly composed Still Lifes, meticulous representations of cool circles and curved bowls conjure up the pure contours in the natural world: ‘The endless line of a circle, its internal space both enclosure and entrance, and what might be joints or doorways within a landscape all find their way into my pictures’
Ruth Thomas is an Australian artist who, having studied in Edinburgh, is fascinated by the coastlines of Scotland and New South Wales, “Nature’s calligraphy: the myriad of lines on windswept beaches, the richly coloured rock faces, the delicate structures of shells and seaweed.”
Her work covers painting, printmaking and drawings in which the decorative detail shows her passion for geology as much as art, capturing how the waves of the tide smooth the pebbles on the shore.
Ruth also enjoys the ancient Art of Mokuhanga, Japanese Woodblock Printing to create concertina fold-out books of miniature paintings. She also makes eco-printed paper from fragrant Eucalyptus, Banksia and Grevillea leaves.
These three distinctive artists offer a diverse selection of prints, drawings, sketches and paintings yet complement each other, – sharing a broad theme of the environment with an individual artistic approach. At previous Festival exhibitions, comments in the visitors’ book are most enthusiastic: ‘such varied and beautiful work’ & ‘I loved the delicacy and the thoughtfulness.’
Once again, Paperworks 4 was a most inspiring and evocative collection to express the beauty of nature with fine crafted imagery and painterly precision.
Make a date in the diary for Paperworks 5 – hopefully it will return for the Festival 2018!
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