Wednesday, 15 July 2009
The paintings above are available now at Arts Hut.
Since completing her MA in Fine Art Painting at the Royal Academy in 1990, Rachel Widdows has lived and worked in the village of Hartfield, until moving with her husband onto several acres of low weald landscape in Hellingly, where they live in makeshift caravans whilst building their home. Her recent work focuses on the rural landscape under constant pressure from agriculture, environmental degradation, seasonal and climate change: "I strive towards an instinctive empathy and spiritual interconnection between myself as and my environment." Her work reveals the landscape of Sussex not as a comfortable idyll but as a complex multi layered and ever-changing environment. The influences of Franc Auerbach, Anselm Kiefer, David Tress and Therese Oulton, are evident within current work describing the muddy tracks traversing her land at the foot of the Downs. These reveal a direct, immediate and tactile experience of the earth, resulting in a more experimental and experiential approach to materials. This vigorous direct approach in the handling of the paint has reasserted the dominance of drawing within the structure and effectively expresses the energy and urgency of a changing environment and landscape.