by Katrina Ffiske.
Richard Hoare, a local artist, has an exhibition of works running throughout January and February, at Messums Wiltshire in Tisbury.
A preview for Threshold was held on 13 January. Most of the works in this exhibition feature the landscape of the remote and most westernmost fringe of Europe – the hills of Achill in Mayo and the north-west coast of Scotland.
Richard’s works are inspiring, a mixture of abstract and reality, the landscapes draw you in, you can smell the earth, feel the wind and rain.
I went to meet Richard to find out where his inspiration comes from.
Light floods into the studio from a widow in the eaves. The studio is neat, tidy and organised, one table on wheels stands with a large board used for a mixing palette and a long wooden rack with a minimum range of colours carefully arranged in separate bays.
“From early on I have used a limited palette,” Richards tells me. “I never use paint in its raw format and I use a very narrow range of brushes, occasionally using sticks.”
As a student Richard spent time at the V&A, The National Gallery and Tate Gallery where he was particularly inspired by Rembrandt.
“I saw how few colours were in his palette and was inspired to paint in a similar way improvising from what was available.”
Richard likes to paint surrounded by nature, standing for hours at a time, capturing and absorbing his surroundings.
“There is always light and movement in the landscape. I don’t resist the change of light and weather, I embrace it with paint. One time, the wind was so strong, the board I was painting took off. I had to let go of it and I tumbled into the undergrowth.
“While painting the works for Threshold I lost myself in the remote landscape of Ireland and Scotland, finding myself connecting with the ancient prehistoric cultures.”
On the back of each painting is a solar date mark, the numbers refer to how many days have passed since the last Winter Solstice.
“I believe the waves of renewal constant in nature are rarely so perceptible than on the day after the Winter Solstice when the days lengthen once more.
“My work focuses on light, so by including this date mark I am acknowledging the central role and orientation towards the sun in my work.”
Both Richard, the artist, and his work are inspiring. I left the interview seeing the clouds, landscape and light with new keen eyes.
This exhibition, Threshold, couldn’t come at a better time, the light, bright paintings are a breath of fresh air during the dark months of January and February.
Threshold runs until 26 February.