This exhibition includes atmospheric landscapes by Rebecca Gillen-Pettit and large scale ceramics by Shirley Clifford.
Rebecca’s Artist Statement
My painting is intuitive and gestural. I prefer to work on large canvases and translate my love and respect for the beauty of my surroundings onto the fresh surface.
As an intuitive painter I never really know what will emerge until the image begins to show itself. I rarely start with a plan. The process is exciting, often frustrating and I struggle at times between representation and abstraction. My training as an Interior Designer has both helped and hindered me in my work. Design is creative and rigid at the same time, and I struggle to shake its confines.
I work in acrylics, but sometimes, chalk, oil pastels, graphite and resins find their way onto the canvas. I like to explore new techniques and strive to find that elusive something that painters often search for. I prefer to build the surface of the canvas with gesso, creating texture and lines. I love to make marks with the paint and push it into loose imagery that expresses my emotional response to the natural world.
Shirley’s Artist Statement
My sojourn in Shigaraki Japan (2003) confirmed my oriental aesthetics and this is now externalized in my SHINO WARE. Basically these pots are made of porcelain and/or paperclay, high-fired in gas reduction. Some pots incorporate Shigaraki feldspar which is wedged into clay and emboldened by the wood-fired kiln. Large storage containers intrigued me and this led me into the world of large-scale ceramics.
Vessel-making as an art form has intrigued me for over thirty years. My response to the simplicity of clay is sensual and immediate because it has such a powerful tactile drawing force. My intellectual response to the mystical complexities of ceramic art is a much slower, thoughtful ongoing struggle which is only intermittently resolved. Nevertheless working with clay, whether it be fine porcelain or coarse dark sculpture clay, is a simple, sensual interaction wherein I can escape into the medium and come out a creator, a vessel-maker.