‘Nature of the Beast’ at Sarah Wiseman Gallery
40-41 S Parade
Oxford OX2 7JL
Sarah Wiseman Gallery
‘Nature of the Beast’
12th January – 9th February 2019
‘We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.’
– Albert Einstein
Sarah Wiseman Gallery is proud to announce the exhibition ‘Nature of the Beast’, a group exhibition of artists whose work looks to nature and its darker edge. Each of the selected artists work in a variety of media including painting and photography. In rich earthy tones, creatures both domesticated and wild are shown in a new light.
Rory Carnegie will be exhibiting photographic prints from an ongoing series of animals entitled ‘Long Ago and Far Away’. By photographing animals in a studio, and removing them from their natural surroundings, he plays with our perception of a familiar looking beast, heightening the extraordinariness of our wild-life species. Placed against the atmospheric backdrops of a British rural landscape, a tiger’s stripes become even more vivid and surreal, or a bird’s plumage becomes more bizarre and outlandish.
Abigail Reed has turned her attention to moths, drawing them in huge scale in charcoal. By altering their size, she brings into focus the mystery and strangeness of a creature that looks unearthly but exists in reality.
‘The animals appear familiar, yet distinct from man…we are in conflict with nature yet we are in awe of it,’ she says. Much larger creatures are also a part of Abigail’s range of subject matter, from majestic stags to rearing bears. Painted largely in monochrome, or with only a hint of colour, these works express a wild creature’s sheer, unpredictable power. Her strong, vigorous brushwork sweeps over the canvas, also captivates a fragility.
James Fotheringhame Nature painter James Fotheringhame has an intense curiosity for the natural world, studying it both in the field and in the studio. His paintings are expressive, filled with light and movement as he seeks to find fleeting moments in nature. James is also a renowned garden designer and the gardens he creates fuel the inspiration to paint the flora and fauna that inhabit these spaces, satisfying a need to document his discoveries.
The inspiration for artist Helen Ward’s ‘Lepidoptera’ series comes from a stack of original Victorian marbled paper that she discovered at a book fair whilst still a student.
Helen selects and cuts each insect, moth and butterfly by hand showing immense skill and control with the scalpel. The paper cuts are pinned with entomology pins to the soft white background and carefully positioned to create beautiful shadows and elegant compositions. Darkly romantic, these pieces capture the imagination, conjuring images of dusty libraries and forgotten treasures waiting to be discovered.