The Contemporary Fine Art Course: Adelaide Doble, Mary Adam & Vaughan Melzer - 3D virtual exhibition by The Essential School of Painting

The Contemporary Fine Art Course: Adelaide Doble, Mary Adam & Vaughan Melzer

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

curated by:

The Contemporary Fine Art Course is an advanced course taught by Bob Matthews. Liane Lang and for this year Jost Munster. It is aimed at a broad range of artists and seeks to develop a community where practical and theoretical skills can be explored and established with emphases on making, presenting, talking and thinking about art.

My fascination with painting has been for most of my life, but it is only in the last ten years that I have been able to act upon it. I choose to paint nature as that allows me to explore light, pattern and meaning. A group of artists that has inspired and influenced me are the American Realists, contemporary and past, such as Vincent Giarrano, Bo Bartlett, Maria Lipkin, Sarah Lamb and Dora Atwater Millikin. Earlier examples are Charles Sheeler and the Ashcan School, the most well known of whom were Edward Hopper and George Bellows. American artists were struggling to find a new way of depicting the modern world both in subject matter and technique. The Puritan aesthetic exploits the sun-drenched light of America while the city-based paintings examine urban life, based heavily on immigrant communities. Unfortunately, there were not many women associated with this school but that is changing. It is the sense of a ‘New World of possibilities’ that I find so compelling. Recently I have discovered the American artist, Ellen Altfest, who paints highly detailed still-lives and I would like to develop my work in this direction.

Mary Adam was born and grew up in Ireland. She studied Medicine and worked for two years in England before marrying and moving to the Caribbean. Despite turning to painting relatively late in life she has been actively exhibiting her work for several decades. Her first solo show took place at Horizons Gallery in Trinidad in 2004, since then she has had several solo shows and participated in a number of group exhibitions.
In 2011, she completed the BA (Hons) Painting at the Open College of the Arts and currently is working from her London-based studio. Painting and printmaking are her core areas of interest, as she continues to explore the properties of light, contrast, and colour.
In addition to oils on canvas, she makes watercolours, drawings, and prints. She also works with assemblage and collage as they enable her to find new forms for the ideas that attract her attention.

Her recent works, a series called Dualities, are based on differences, individuality, and choice. Inspired by a Robert Rauschenberg show at the Tate Modern in 2017 she is investigating this idea further in the language of line, colour and tone. Her process involves printing flat fields of colour onto archival paper which she then tears or cuts into shapes to be collaged onto paper or canvas. Abstract ink drawings then complete the work.

On show, are photomontages (27x 42cm) from a series, which Vaughan is making of the experience of the Covid-19 lockdown. Confined to her home estate she takes slow walks around the perimeter deliberately observing the minutiae of the grass & plants, fencing of every sort, shadows and miscellany and using these images to create a story.
Vaughan Melzer is a Londoner and worked as a social worker for fourteen years. She returned to college to do a second degree in photography and post-modernist theory and, in 1989, became a free-lance photographer. Personal and Commissioned projects were wide-ranging. They included the people and life on her own council estate in North London where she has lived for 40 years, and Crouch End, her local shopping centre. Commissions took her to Russia, including Chernobyl (1995), and East Berlin (2013) photographing former dissidents for an academic project. Vaughan also ran the Russian photo-library for ten years at Novosti, London until 2005.

A lifelong dream to be an artist was realised gradually as first, she experimented with image-making in her darkroom and then, from 1996 in a rented studio in Wood Green, a bespoke space to play with ideas, design ways to express them, and build up skills. Exploring her political and emotionally complicated childhood she made a series of photomontages in the darkroom and later, in her studio she used 2 inch wooden cubes illustrated on all sides with pictures to depict the historic, political and ethnic network of her family.

Reflecting her love of natural things, Vaughan made many images in a variety of media with a piece of coral she picked up on a Cuban beach and this culminated in the making of three sculptural books. These projects and her many soft pastel and painted landscapes (27x42cm) have been shown in the annual Collage Arts Open Studios.
Enlightening and enriching conversations with several artists - in particular, Bob Matthews, Liane Lang and Jost Muenster – inspired in her new avenues and ideas. Current projects are:
* A series of abstract paintings (42x49cm acrylic on paper) depicting places in her childhood
* Using curving and rectangular stencils to explore colour, design and atmosphere
* Using eggshells and other organic waste materials to make 3-dimensional (30x30cm) abstract collages

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