IN HER ELEMENT - PREVIEW 6pm - 8pm, 21st September
'In Her Element' is a new exhibition from Jill Wilkinson, an artist we have have not featured before at Yarmouth Gallery. At first glance these paintings may seem purely abstract but a few moments of contemplation by anyone who knows the Island's wild beaches soon starts to reveal the source of Jill's inspiration to be the South West coast of the Island which is just a short walk from her home.
Working directly in the landscape is part of Jill's practice and many of these works are made using not conventional painting media but the local clay itself, combined with predominantly indigo ink. This gives the paintings their characteristic earthy tones: these works are not simply about the natural environment but of it.
Much of my work is made in situ at the beach at Chilton Chine which is close to where I live. I love being on an empty beach whatever the weather, sketching using the wonderful coloured clays which course through the Wealden formation cliffs. Over the years I have collected clays from all along the IW Heritage coast. I use an old coffee grinder and mortar and pestle to grind them to a fine dust and add distilled water to form the desired consistency. Alternatively when working on the beach I dig holes in the clay with a stone and add sea water to make a smooth slip which I use to paint my response and reactions to the place, the sounds of the wind and waves. On these occasions I try not to use brushes instead I use 'found' feathers, sticks and hands. I usually have with me Indian ink, compressed charcoal and graphite plus an assortment of papers.
The works in the exhibition were done mainly down on the beach over several days. I lay several pieces of paper flat on the beach and work on them all altogether as a series, building up layers of clay and ink. Later back in the studio areas of clay were lifted off with a brush and more ink/clay added. I am not attempting to give any accurate representation of the beach, the sea or the tide. I want to capture the essence of the place, the sound and rhythm of the sea and wind - and offer an intuitive response to just being there.
EXHIBITION 21st SEPT - 19th OCT OPEN DAILY 10am - 5pm (11am - 4pm on Sundays)