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The Painting Year: Chris Wilmott & Gillian Harding - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

The Painting Year: Chris Wilmott & Gillian Harding

Fri, 08/14/2020 to Sun, 01/31/2021

curated by:

The Painting Year is a course for those looking to advance their practice, developing their skills and content whilst being guided by two experienced and celebrated painters Dan Coombs and Guy Allott. Limited to 12 participants, the course provides artists with a community and mentoring whilst actively engaging with painting language and opening doors to untried possibilities.

GILLIAN HARDING
We are dependent on plant life, and nature gives us solace.
My painting is moving towards abstraction, whilst observing new life to decomposition.
Vegetation has many layers and can be transitory. I try to capture this.

CHRIS WILMOTT
I make work about the impact on Humanity of Nature. The impact of rising sea levels. The touch of Covid-19. Collisions affecting the human condition. My painting surfaces are colourful. I use a restricted palette. To which I add another colour at the end of my process, according to the whim of the surface. I enjoy working in partnerships.

Its “not about what humanity does to the planet it’s about what the planet might do to us.”
I imagine a possible future for us. Us being humanity. Imagining the impact on us, if the sea were literally or figuratively over our head. As a consequence of rising sea levels.

In my paintings can be found symbols for the sea and also for water. In which fish live. By which means I locate metaphors for life. Neither fish nor humanity survive without water. Though for fish, a natural place for life is water. But water is no natural location for us. Humanity’s natural environment for life is air. But air is no place or space for fish survival.

To symbols for fish, sea and air I add bubbles. The occurrence of bubbles underwater may signify life. Bubbles of gas, such as oxygen or carbon dioxide related to the functioning of life. On the other hand underwater bubbles maybe reference something inanimate, such as tectonic movement releasing gas. In any event, when symbolised by circular form ambiguity arises since bubbles may be taken as balloons. Or balloons for bubbles.

Covid-19 recognises no boundaries of nationhood, society, ethnicity or other such classification. What goes for Covid-19 goes too for changing climate. From these comparisons may or may not emerge new values for society. On which I reflect.
"Pictures I curate as vertical collections, such as diptychs. Inviting the viewer to look up. As if under water. A style inviting new approaches to the interior design of stairwells.
Assembled as shown the whole is greater than the specific content of each painting. The diptych may be curated as shown, upside down or as single paintings. Separated by empty space or other paintings. The curator finding in that other whole, something greater than before. The readings obtained from this are unpredictable. Rather like the weather and changing climate. Exploiting these aspects of the work favour live displays rather than those of digital exhibitions or books.

Curating is invited to participate in reflections about changing climate. Disordering collections introduces a type of abstraction or fragmentation to the viewer. The disordering can be changed from day to day. The viewer may participate in the disordering."

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