Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Exhibition Visit

The most gorgeous day today.  The brightest spring sunshine growing in warmth as the day progressed; the oil seed rape leaping out of the ground and by our return many more lemon-yellow flowers danced in the field.

We were setting off for Ely to visit the Babylon Gallery down by the Waterside to see "Reflections and Revelations".  This is an exhibition of Helen Terry and Sally Tyrie's work, the result of a two year collaboration on Wicken Fen on the southern edge of Cambridge.

The work was wall mounted both as individual pieces and complementary pairs and groups, some framed in white, larger textile pieces by Helen Terry unframed.  Some black and white or sepiaed photographic work by both artists was wall mounted in a large block displayed in box lids. Tiny art books and other small works were boxed, the slip cases partially revealing their contents: all the work united by an attention to light and tranquility.

Sally Tyrie's wall displayed work was constructed from strips of subtly coloured and textured papers machined together some hide-like areas punctuating the soft colours and adding movement. Sally's work involves multi-layered mark making together with photography and print making to convey this lambent and lovely place.

Helen Terry is attracted to the "views from hides and reflections in the water" and uses silkscreen, mono-print, collage and drawing on dyed antique linen, acrylic and lens tissue which are then layered and hand stitched.  Elements, such a reeds, are echoed and reflected in a palette of carefully dyed neutrals.  We talked about her attention to colour and her choice of materials at a Meet the Artists session on the last day of the exhibition.  She stressed the importance of techniques serving the artist, so that what she noticed was conveyed directly to the viewer. She also talked about the challenge of bringing work to exhibition standard.  Both artists felt their collaboration had been a positive experience and one from which they had learned much.