'As Still as Moss' Exhibition

Miss Pinkney shares her inspiration for her latest exhibition

‘I like the way that the death of one thing is the beginning of something else’ - Alice Oswald

This exhibition is inspired by a desire to paint large physical works and to return to the sensation of making a direct mark on a large surface. In part it can be seen as a reaction to the digital focus of recent times and the fundamental need to translate and analyse my surroundings through a direct medium that requires the absorption of my physical self.

The paintings stem from acute observation of the landscape. Some are observations of Northumberland and the Pennines, and others are more local—the woods surrounding charterhouse. They are not precise visual representations of specific places, but more combinations of the felt experience of the landscape that I hold in my memory, experienced through all my senses. The paint itself is a touchstone and tool of creative exploration that informs my visual discovery and alters the compositions as the works develop. The physicality of the flat surface reflects my training as a ceramicist. When sculpting, the relationship between outer form and general texture is one of constant simultaneity. The paintings are layered and erased so assume an inner and outer surface. They reflect layers of time, the history of the place: the scars of the lead mines, the fossils in the limestone, the impression man leaves by burning the heather.

The quotations I have placed throughout the space are from two books I listened to while painting. The first, Christopher Neve's book, Unquiet Landscape, is a journey into the imagination through the English landscape. How is it that artists, by thinking in paint, have come to regard the landscape as representing states of mind? He writes about Henry Moore who saw a stark link between the rock (that served as both his material and inspiration) and the grazing calmness of sheep.  The sheep stand out in the landscape in the same, oblique way, providing an aesthetic of both fitting in and being anomalous; they punctuate the landscape and reflect it. Their textures link to the landscape that they inhabit as does their sound, the animals being part of the momentary sense of place. The second book, Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane, is about the power of language in relation to landscape, words which further fuelled my painting.