And then it’s gone...RECENT BRITISH PAINTINGS
11 - 21 October 2022
London SW1Y 6BN
Monday to Saturday
10am — 6pm
For all enquiries please contact:
Sarah Hobrough +44 (0) 7798 611017
Engulfed Ash Trow Down
We are delighted to announce the latest exhibition of paintings by Oliver Akers Douglas. Nearly two years in the making, this body of new work comprises mainly inland and coastal landscapes of Britain. A seasoned plein air painter, Oliver’s work attracts a wide and dedicated following. Best known particularly for his vivid and dramatic depictions of Wiltshire, Dorset and the West coast of Scotland, many of the works featured in this collection are painted in precise spots that he returns to year after year in the manner of a pilgrimage.
While his paintings are recognisably of actual places and things, the power of his work is fuelled by an intense emotional attachment to his subject. Both his expert handling of paint and his use of colour are distinctive, transforming the fleeting effects of light and season with an incomparable boldness and immediacy.
The title of this show refers not just to the ephemeral moments he attempts to capture in paint but to the temporal nature of all things - a heightened awareness of impermanence and mortality inspired by the landscapes he inhabits. These paintings are a full-hearted attempt to pause the racing effects of time and celebrate the experienced world, to create images that burn themselves on the mind’s retina - at least for a while.
“The mood of this collection feels to me particularly bittersweet, or perhaps more precisely I should call it joyful-sad. This phrase goes a little way to describe the poignant mix of feelings that British landscape seems to inspire. ‘Summers lease is all too brief’, as the sonnet goes. I like the idea of painting serving no grand purpose, other than to convey what it is like to be alive at a certain time and place. So if there is any point to my work, it is in distilling that rush of excitement I experience on encountering a dynamic effect in the landscape, tinged as it always is by the certain knowledge of its passing.
These days we look at the entire natural world with an added sense of jeopardy. It is almost too painful to acknowledge the precarious nature of these different environments where I spend my time, even while I revel in their distinctive charms. Several of the pictures in this collection feature ash trees – for many centuries a characteristic fixture of the chalklands where I live and which are of course rapidly disappearing as the dieback disease spreads through the species. I have always loved their ragged glory, their buff colours in winter and the way they are often engulfed heroically in ivy. I feel in part that these pictures celebrate their final hurrah before, like the fate of the elm tree before them, they finally disappear from the British landscape altogether.”
‘An artist who will pursue landscapes like a storm chaser tracking a tornado’
Artists and Illustrators
‘The greatest landscape painter of his generation’
Writer Mathew Dennison
Sea Room, Iona