Sarah Wiseman Gallery is delighted to announce the annual Summer Exhibition, a celebration of variety and creativity. Gallery artists Daniel Ablitt, Bee Bartlett, Clare Bonnet, Fletcher Prentice and Alison Pullen have created stunning collections of work that echo their commitment to their studio practice, ever developing and exploring new ideas.
Highlights include new figurative painting by Clare Bonnet who will show studies of women set in sparse, ambiguous spaces, using a soft, subtle colour palette of pinks and greys. Clare’s practice has evolved in an interesting new direction, reflecting her recent exploration of the narrative of the female; how societal roles of women are repeated through generations and the dualities of female identity experienced by women past and present. These are compelling paintings of simple beauty that hold both personal and universal meaning.
Well-known for his paintings of opulent gardens, Fletcher Prentice will show a collection of new work which include flower studies in the style of Dutch painting of the Golden Age. Emerging from a dark background, tulips and wall flowers are rendered in bright, vibrant colour with soft, seemingly effortless brushwork. The paintings are a nod to the style of the past but developed to explore studies of a single stem of flower on a larger scale.
Alison Pullen has enjoyed spending time back at Osterley Park House in the luscious garden room. Daniel Ablitt's paintings invite us to take a much needed breath and be mindful of our inner and outer landscape. Whereas Bee Bartlett has immersed herself in the beauty of Oxford, the surrounding meadows and journeyed back to Italy via her sketch book.....
'The last 2 years has for me combined new motherhood and a global pandemic. The equivalent to a tectonic shift in personal terms. With this in mind it has felt necessary to investigate our changed world with new directions in my work.
I’ve been thinking a lot about repetition in womanhood - generational cycles, entrenched societal expectations, personal stories that link us all, the dualities of female identity and of how finely balanced those various roles are. In essence, the Narrative of Female, past and future.
There are further themes of interior/exterior directly linked to the social change over the last 18 months. The contrast of domestic confinement whilst feeling engulfed by a path yet to be defined manifests itself in my paintings as foliage - either viewed as external foliage beyond the window pane, or as dense forest surrounding the figure. The leaf of the Monstera appears regularly, an iconic ‘housebound’ plant, with origins in the South American jungle.
My paintings intend to distil an essence or truth of female experience - whether that’s joyful journeying, quiet isolation or unsettling misplacement. Titles often refer to mythological female characters or biblical stories in order to reclaim or reimagine historical female narratives which have more often than not been created by a male author.'
- Clare Bonnet, June 2021
The new collection of paintings by Fletcher Prentice explore the beauty of the spring and early summer garden. Starting with his familiar exuberant borders filled with flowers and garden birds we are taken into his colourful universe.
As an artist/gardener Fletcher purposefully selects plants with an eye to composition, colour and texture. A keen environmentalist his garden is a haven for attracting native insects and garden birds.
‘I leave much to chance. After creating the initial planting I let the flowers seed and wait each year to see what comes back.’
In the new darker works he looks deeper into historical still life painting with rich toned backgrounds. His compositional style is instantly recognisable keeping the works fresh and resolutely contemporary. He plays with this aesthetic by focusing on a single flower or branch of blossom, using the classical colour palette to add a new drama and intensity.
Full Page Image Details
1. 'Forget-Me-Not' Oil on canvas H 50 x 100 cm £1150
2. 'Wall Flower Border' Oil on canvas H 60 x 120 cm £2200
3. 'Summer Meadow' Oil on canvas H 120 x 150 cm £6200
As an artist Daniel Ablitt is often immersed in the process of painting, deeply mindful of each brush stroke as he creates his calm tranquil landscapes. The feeling that he conjures through his work is one of a life journey, one that we can all join, which encourages us to take a moment to reflect on our inner and outer landscapes.
Daniel is sparse on words about his work, giving us space to project ourselves into the picture plane and find a quiet moment. This wonderful gift continues to inspire and there are some truly beautiful examples of his work in this new collection.
'This collection pieces for the summer show at Sarah Wiseman Gallery are a continuation of a theme that threads it way through a lot of my work, that of a journey. Or more accurately, moments along the way; it maybe a snapshot of a memory or a pause taken to reflect. I guess in some way searching for that space to find peace and calm is something that we all have found ourselves doing at some point recently.'
-Daniel Ablitt, July 2021
'Finding Time (Study)'
Oil on panel
H 32 x 32 cm
H 51 x 51 cm
'Red Tower (Study)'
Oil on Panel
H 32 x 32 cm
H 51 x 51 cm
‘I have thoroughly enjoyed getting back into painting public places and I have been blessed with the chance to work in the Garden Room at Osterley Park House.
The light in the Garden Room is so amazing and it’s a thrill to paint the light changing the plants, pots and flowers into something extraordinary. I love rendering the space of the Garden Room and further afield, the garden outside and the classical elements of the Robert Adam designed building.
All the burgeoning growth is a joy to behold.'
'Garden Room, Osterley Park House - Modern'
H 96 x 92 cm
The city of Oxford is a recurring motif in Bee Bartlett's work, its famous architecture and well-known vistas a rich source of inspiration. It is a place she knows well, having lived here for over a decade. Her studies of the city are a striking combination of intuitive expression of the character of a place and more representational elements of composition.
In her latest collection of paintings, Bee explores famous landmarks and beloved views of the city, bathed in the bright glow of spring sunshine or night-time inky blues, capturing the pale colour of stone buildings and verdigris domes and spires.
For the Summer Exhibition, Bee has also explored the meadows and green spaces found in the city, among them Port Meadow and University Parks. Again, the focus is on the wide skies, colour and textures of the meadow rather than creating a precise portrait. The layering of greys and greens with enigmatic skies transports us to a place of ancient beauty, light dancing across water and maybe a storm clearing on the horizon.
Travelling further afield via her sketch book the exhibition will include two richly detailed paintings of Italy, one from Venice the other from Florence. The famous architecture of these beloved cities is a perfect subject for Bee’s layered style of painting, creating two wonderfully expressive art works.
'Beginnings of Spring'
Mixed media on board
H 50 x 36 cm image size
H 58.5 x 44.5 cm framed
'The Sheldonian Lantern in Evening Light;
Mixed media on canvas
H 60 x 60 cm