Saturday 5th May 2018 saw the opening of 4 brand new exhibitions here at Oriel Q.
Sarah Poland is exhibiting at Oriel Q with her show 'Numinous Light, Dazzling Night'. This exhibition is a series of painting, lithography, drawing and photography that Sarah made over seven years, three of which was when she was living off grid in an eighty acre Welsh oak woodland. Observations of her surroundings and interactions with nature informed her work which reflects the very essence of communicating with our surroundings.
"I’m not sure whether the trees were dancing, making music or practising calligraphy but these observations help to inform my practice.
This selection of work is from an ongoing project started about seven years ago. It emerged after an experience of living off-grid for three years in an eighty-acre oak woodland in west Wales. During this time I made many drawings and paintings, I collected oak galls from the woodland floor, rust from the forge and water from the river to make oak-gall ink (nick-named Ink of Poets and Kings) - I wanted to make something truly of the woodland. I also took night walks with my camera on a long exposure and using the moon as a light source made ‘moon drawings’. The experience is truly Romantic, immersed as one is, beholden to and a part of nature.
In my work I want something of the immediacy of drawing: its explosiveness, brevity, rawness but also a type of mark-making that is not consciously directed which informs both the beginning and the final stages of making an image. Initially, I thought that the series would be about the woodland itself, but eventually, it evolved into being more about a process of transformation – of experience, self and material. The work is as much about the materiality of paint and oak gall ink, the chemistry of making the ink and the act of painting and drawing - where the physical act of making work is, in part, an ontological process.
I am interested in differences of rhythm, tempo and repetition, and how they produce irregularity in marks, layers; also colours and their inherent instability. All these contradict the inherent flatness of paintings. Paintings can be weighty, at the same time possessed with a lightness of spirit – both of which are inescapably a part of nature. I believe that painting has the potential to be a transformative experience firmly grounded in the corporeal and that nature and landscape can be a metaphor for human experience, that this can help to create a depth of perception and that nature can give us moments of poetic experience. "
Jess Woodrow is exhibiting in Oriel Fach 1 with her exhibition 'The Sound of Water'.
Jess' work represents a short period of time where she relocated from the city to a tiny ancient settlement in the Black Mountains. Jess became overwhelmed by stories about this place, set in a ripple on a mountainside; she came looking for the solidity of the mountains but what stuck her was the presence of water. Jess describes that the 'place felt liquid' with the sound of water everywhere. Jess describes;
"...And with the sound of water came stories of drownings, of springs springing where heads fell, of rivers being named after decapitated women who's loss of life had been placated by a sainthood. Here I found rivers of tears and pools of threat and mystery".
Lee Burton is showing his first ever exhibition here at Oriel Q. 'Milkwood Spoons' is a delightful exhibition that belies the simplicity of an everyday object; the skill of creating such sculptural and yet basic forms that Lee has crafted over the years.
"Since I whittled my first spoon nearly 2 years ago (see spoon no. 5), from a piece of oak that I found on the beach at Poppit sands, while camping with family, my desire to whittle has grown in to what some might say is an obsession. This is just the beginning for me of a craft I will learn to develop in to many aspects of greenwood craft.
All are carved with only axe and blade (axe, sloyd, hook knife, twca cam); no power tools. They are then dried and usually (but not always) sanded, some have painted handles; they are then sealed with a food safe wood balm I make myself. It is made using only beeswax and flaxseed oil.
My spoons are for using, not just to look at. In fact the more they are used, the more stained and beautiful they become. Don’t be afraid to use at every opportunity."
Ryan Marsh is also showing here at Oriel Q with his photographic exhibition, 'Social Landscape. His practice focuses on the human altered landscape. He started exploring this subject when studying BA (Hons) Photojournalism at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David from 2011-2014. In 2014, Ryan further developed his interest at UWTSD when studying MA Contemporary Dialogues- Photography from which he graduated in 2017. For more info on Ryan, please click HERE
With thanks to David Street for capturing the event for us.