Igniting Sight | Sladers Yard Gallery, Dorset

Igniting Sight | contemporary artists inspired by JMW Turner | Sladers Yard Gallery, 6 July - 8 September 2019

‘This summer, while JMW Turner’s painting, ‘Bridport, Dorsetshire,’ is showing at Bridport Museum, we celebrate Turner by exploring the ways in which his influence lives on in contemporary landscape painting, particularly in the work of six artists, all of whom to some extent belong in the great descriptive English Romantic tradition which began with Turner’s truly great paintings.

JMW Turner: watercolour study Dorset (date unknown)

JMW Turner: watercolour study Dorset (date unknown)

Each artist finds in Turner their own key to transform their paintings into poetry. Artist Luke Elwes writes: ‘Some years ago I chose Turner’s “Evening Star” for an Artist’s Eye talk at the National Gallery, a work that remains a touchstone, as it has done for other painters: Rothko studied it and Sean Scully made it the starting point for his current exhibition ”Seastar”. It shares with much of Turner’s later work a provisional quality, in which a luminous field composed of sea and sky apparently draws on a particular moment and place yet remains timeless and open ended. It is an elemental space, animated by Turner’s ‘weather’ and illuminated with a fiery radiance.”

‘Luminous fields composed of sea and sky,’ describes the subject matter of Luke Elwes’ own work very beautifully. Whether they are watercolour studies he made at sunrise on the banks of the Ganges, or different waters closer to home, his paintings seem to ripple with reflected light, dappled shade and hazy indistinguishable horizons’. (extract, exhibition text July 2019)