Exhibition Review

Exhibition Review by Tom Cox

There are currently two exhibitions on display at Artspace, a collection of Oil paintings and Watercolours by a local artist called Gerald Thornton and a collection of original prints by another local artist called Jane Moss.
Gerald Thornton’s exhibition is called ‘Forest Landscapes’ and is a collection of paintings depicting the Forest of Dean area. Gerald’s paintings are described as capturing the ‘ever changing textures and colours that the area presents from season to season’. Many of his landscapes have sheep, deer and human figures in them. Gerald has also become interested in capturing the unique cultural and industrial heritage of this changing area such as the old coal mining industry.
Jane Moss’s exhibition is called ‘Art of the Heart’ and is about showing how the arts can bring joy and purpose to someone living with mental illness. The exhibition has a range of prints made using a range of different printmaking techniques.
Both of these exhibitions run from Monday 11th April until Friday 27th May 2016. There is also a private view for each of the exhibitions one on Saturday 9th and the other on Saturday 16th April 2 – 4 pm.

I like many of Gerald Thornton’s paintings, especially the Oil paintings and have decided to focus on 3 of them.
The first painting is called ‘Patchwork fields’ and is a painting of the village of Littledean as seen from the top of Cinderford. It includes cows, fields and the River Severn in the middle of the picture. I especially like the shape of the river running through the middle of the image and the way the view stretches into the distance. I also like the way the cows are grouped together in the foreground. I like the way it has been painted, in an ‘impressionistic’ style, where you can see lots of little marks when you look at it closely that all blur together to make the image when you stand back from it. I really like all of the different colours Gerald has blended together to make the fields and the way that the dots that make the town in the distance merge together to create the impression of buildings when you stand back from it.
I also like ‘Autumn – Cannop ponds’. The reflections of the trees in the pond contrasted with the big light area in the middle makes it really look like water.
The only thing I am not so keen on in this picture is the blue marks that the artist has used in the foreground. I think they are a bit bright and take my attention away from the rest of the picture.
In ‘Whimsey Line’ which is a picture of a train moving through the Forest of Dean countryside, there is a tiny figure on a bike that is hidden in the image. I really like that it is not easy to see and you really have to look to find it.

I really like Jane’s ‘Art for the Heart’ exhibition of printmaking too. All of the bright colours used in the prints are great and it is really interesting to see all of the different printmaking techniques she has used to create the images. The printing plates she has used to make the prints are also part of the exhibition which means you can look at them to get a better idea of how the prints were made.
I also like the crisp, sharp lines and edges in the prints and how some simple shapes have been used to make some really nice patterns.
Many of the prints are made by printing one plate on top of another and I also like the precision with which the colours have been layered. An example of this is the picture called ‘Tiles’ which was printed from foam boards.
My favourite print in the exhibition is ‘Ferns Monoprint’ I like the details in leaves of the fern and how the print has picked up all these small details on the big scale. I also like the orange of the second print as I think it reflects the colour seen in dry ferns in the Autumn.

I would recommend these exhibitions to anyone who likes printmaking or paintings. Especially if you like impressionist paintings.

Posted on Friday, April 15, 2016 by Roland | Permalink

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