Tidal wilderness

Saw this exhibition yesterday. http://www.victoriagal.org.uk/exhibitions/future_exhibitions/andrew_hardwick.aspx

The wife had pointed me towards the gallery but had meant for me to like the main exhibition (which I found good, but a bit twee) whereas I thought she had picked out Andrew Hardwick’s work for me to see.  It’s rare that I use the chairs in a gallery but I sat down for a good 15 minutes to look at these paintings.

They are textural, mixed media paintings of very bleak landscapes and are completely mesmerising. At first they look to be in that instantly familiar style of people who do streaky, expressive landscapes but Mr Hardwick’s paintings have a lot more to them. He seems to have done parts of them on paper in rich detail and stuck them on the canvas along with rocks, netting and rubbish before painting with broad strokes around them.

The result is a feeling of great depth as your eyes focus on different parts of the painting. Focusing on the detail and then unfocusing to take in the overall feel of the larger areas of sky, land and sea. Completely mesmerising.

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