I am just back from seeing an exhibition called 'Mixing it Up. Painting Today' at the Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank. I tought it would be interesting to see what is happening in painting at the moment. Reports of the death of easel painting are always premature and this exhibition was indeed full of life, with a wide range of artists and subject matter - mostly narrative, imaginative, and often political.
Half way through I was surprised to stumble upon what looked like some kind of stained glass mounted in the concrete exterior wall. I could see vivid colour and translucency and it definitely wasn't painting, which was interesting, given the theme of the exhibition. On closer inspection I could see it wasn't glass, either.
This is the work of Samara Scott, who makes 'paintings' using household liquids such as cooking oil and shampoo and discarded objects, captured between sheets of Plexiglass.
Aesthetically rich and pleasing to the senses, this piece, called 'Shannon Ridge' contains fabric softener, ink, plastic, oil, and electrical cables. What you might call mixed media meets objets trouves.
Scott says she finds discarded materials poetic. The solid materials settle over time, so the final composition is partially accidental. She describes her work as 'almost a total resistance' to painting: something that she similutaneously tries to avoid and that is always hovering. To the artist, these works are 'elixirs', 'broths', 'potions of this era'.
Her inclusion in a survey of Painting Today is interesting, but with my interest in translucency, it was one of my highlights of the show.
In the exhibition commentary there was no mention of any kind of environmental comment or protest. As I travelled home I reflected that around here in Oxfordshire it might be more authentic to incorporate a little horse dropping, some wheat chaff, rotting apples and the odd lost face mask.
I am a glass artist based in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. I work in stained and fused glass. I work to commission and teach stained glass in my studio. I open my studio to visitors during Oxfordshire Artweeks.
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