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Surprise Squall, Oil on board, £1250
As its name suggests, the Lake District is a land of water – but not just lakes. Wild waterfalls, bubbling becks, rain, mist, snow, flood and drought have been brought together in this exhibition by Fay Collins, an artist who, like all of us, is drawn to water. The human impulse to swim, play, gaze and contemplate in and near water, combined with that raw, powerful experience of being immersed in dramatic mountain environments, makes Cumbria a popular place to be; on top of that a long tradition of Romantic and aesthetic engagement with the area means it can be hard, from an artistic point of view, to find an original way in.With this exhibition, Fay brings a unique, unsentimental body of work to the table. Often finding sharply contrasting, playful beauty and meaning in overlooked and haphazard arrangements of waters-edge debris, groups of trees, rock and confluences of rivers: she has produced a collection of paintings that delight, interrogate and surprise. They force us to consider the minute and the momentary as well as the vertiginous and majestic. Here we see water in the Lake District – its abundance and its absence – in terms of its relationship to plant and bird life, to sky and to geology. We see it, as Fay does, as both a celebration of a life force and testament to the fragility of our environment. Here we witness an ongoing dialogue with Romanticism in which pleasure and beauty are inherent in the terrifying force and grandeur of nature.Artist: “In this exhibition I explore the Lake District in its many watery instances – its ghylls and rivers, torrential falls and hanging clouds, the bristle of a breeze on the surface of a tarn.
The vision I have explored through these paintings investigates that timeless, human fascination with water in natural settings and the impulse towards contemplation in its presence. At the same time I am offering the viewer a unique, personal insight into the choices that I make in perspective – looking upwards at a rushing torrent, submerged reeds at arm’s length, a shore glimpsed through trees at eye level, beyond the visible horizon – as well as in materials and technique – scratching and reworking of paint and wax enables me to express and reformulate my lived experience of these places. I enjoy paying careful attention to colour, texture and light, thus many of my paintings celebrate the exquisite detail discovered in nature.
The relationship between water and geology, water and plant life, water and sky, is the starting-point of this body of work, and I have attempted to articulate in as ambivalent and unsentimental approach as possible. My interpretation of these watery places; the fear of the cold depths when swimming, the fast-changing light as rain showers move across a valley, the thrill of kayaking, the simple delight of working in plein air, and reliving experiences back in the studio, all of these can be intuited.In what could be considered an overcrowded market, I hope my work offers a sober, alternative vision of the Lakes, sensitive to the value of water in all its manifestations and to the consequences of its absence; with an eye on climate change and the incursion of people / hand of humankind on this special place.”
 

Paintings from my recent exhibition “Drawn to Water” are now available to purchase at my studio gallery situated within the grounds of https://wyresdalepark.co.uk/shopping

 

I AM OPEN 11-4pm THURSDAY TO SUNDAY and other times/days by appointment

Some of the pieces for sale are too large to store in the studio space so please contact me before you intend to visit and I will make sure the work is available to view. 

Wet Lands, Derwentwater, oil on canvas, £250
Gorge, oil on board, £295
Whether to Launch, Cat Bells, oil on board £265
Drift, Portinscale, oil on board, £265

Dissipation at Aira Force, oil on board, £1250
Full Spate, Lodore Falls
Surprise Squall, Oil on board, £1250
Obscured View, oil on canvas, £1150
A Delicate Ashgill Force, oil on board, £1550
“Majestic Aira Force” oil on board £650
Shining River (Liza), Ennerdale, oil on board £350
Shallows That Warm (Spring Drought), oil on board £350
Riverbed at Ennerdale. oil on board £350