Kenneth Webb 2020: Video Series
Resilience through colour: Part VI "Waterlillies"
The garden at Kenneth’s Ballinaboy Studio has always been an essential source of inspiration to Kenneth. Originally the garden was an area of natural peatland with some lovely patches of rock and local flora native to Connemara. Over the past 40 years Joan and Kenneth have nurtured the garden into an oasis of colour and texture, with a variety of enchanting environments and spaces including the water lily pond, a woodland area, patches of poppies and irises and astilbes.
Resilience through colour: Part IV "Blackthorn with Moon"
Blackthorn with Moon is a theme Webb has taken on several times through his long career, notably in the late 60s/early 70s. The spectral image, the bare skeletal structure highlighted by the brightness of the moon, appeals equally to Webb’s spiritual and graphic sensibilities. For an artist who is possibly best known for his colour use, this theme may seem at first to be an unlikely choice, but Webb sees intensity even in the darkness of the night.
Resilience through colour: Part III "Rock Studies"
This week we return with the third video in our series of Kenneth Webb’s exhibition ‘Resilience through Colour’, which explores Kenneth’s love of textures, shapes and colours in the rock formations on the West coast of Ireland. Kenneth's daughter, Jenny Davies, explains this beautifully: Webb’s favourite places are all where the weather plays freely, unfettered by the resistance of humans, such as the West of Ireland and the open wilds of Dartmoor. There, wind and water shape the land, stripping away the cultivated and superficial and exposing bare rock. Indeed, only the strongest rocks survive the worst ravages of weather, predominantly granite and bluestone. Webb has always loved these rocks. In particular, he is fascinated by the monumental element of the stone against the other elements, and the textural contrast of their surfaces. Most of his rock studies - be they small outcrops or towering mountains - are therefore set against the delicate transparent texture but intense colour of wildflowers, or against the smooth, powerful movement of water as sea or lake. This balance of elements epitomises the harmony that exists in Nature without intervention, and which allows the soul to breathe easily.
Resilience through colour: Part II "Poppies"
Poppies have been a recurrent theme of Kenneth’s oeuvre since the 1960s. He is constantly drawn back to the enduring challenge of capturing their simplicity of form in his bold, textured brushstrokes. The tint and colour of the poppy varies so greatly, with season and light and movement. Sometimes the light shines entirely through the petal as though transparent, at other times the colour is opaque, creating what Kenneth describes as ‘an exhilarating impact’. Whilst an individual poppy may enchant, when grouped in a great display, the impact can be tremendous.
Resilience through colour: Part I "Bogs"
In his eternal endeavour to reveal a landscape’s spirit, Kenneth Webb is drawn again and again to the peat bogs of Connemara, in the far west of Ireland. In few other places is that spirit so strongly felt, where the direct touch of man is light and the vista is (almost) entirely earth and sky and water. Where nature’s base elements are so raw and pure, so distinctly alive, it is easy to hear the landscape’s voice and feel its emotion. No wonder that some of Webb’s students, treated to a rare fine day in a little-known isolated spot in that vast wilderness, huddle together for comfort. Exposure to the primitive can be intimidating, even frightening, and stories of horror and the supernatural abound in such places. But Webb thrives in this land, more alive by far when ankle-deep in peat and heathers and windswept by the salt- laden Atlantic gales, than in manmade civilisation.
Resilience through colour: An introduction
Throughout Kenneth’s career, he has always been fascinated with colour, and here this exploration continues. Concerned with the changes he sees in the unique ecosystem that is the landscape of Connemara in the West Coast of Ireland, Kenneth has been called to present the landscape’s voice and tell its’ story through his paintings.
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Chelsea as Unusual
We are proud to showcase for 2020 a selection of our finest horticultural artists carefully picked to appeal to the discerning gardeners who we hope will be visiting our virtual Chelsea Show. We won’t this year have an artist in residence each day painting but we hope to have a surprise in store for you at the end of next week. The show has been held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, London every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars and now in 2020. We look forward to your response to our wonderful stand, not this year on Southern Road close to the Bullring Gate, but next to our gentle millstream here at Molecey Mill, West Deeping.
Helen Bradley – A Sheer Delight
Bradley’s narrative paintings are abundant with characters and captivating details painted in a flat decorative style without roundness or shadows, an influence of early Persian and Moghul painters. Her technique is entirely her own, and derives little from traditional methods.
Henri Le Sidaner – Master of Light
Inspired by light effects and reflections, Le Sidaner sought to capture his subjects bathed in a diverse range of light. Sunlight, moonlight, and the artificial light of an interior setting appear throughout his oeuvre, but it is his glowing depictions of sunset that resonate with collectors of his work, past and present.
Edward Seago – A Royal Talent
Born in Norwich, the East Anglian landscape was a major source of artistic inspiration for Seago. His depiction of windswept marshes, estuaries, isolated farmsteads and silver expanses of sea cast under a sky of fleeting clouds, established his reputation as one of the finest English landscape painters of the 20th century.
Gustave Loiseau – Post-Impressionist Master
Loiseau was a champion of painting the landscape en plein air and embraced the use of bold colour and sought to expand and seek new aspects of the Impressionist style. In his quest to create movement and light, Loiseau developed a distinct cross hatching technique which resulted in the supple and ephemeral quality for which his work is known.
Georges Robin – Artwork Spotlight
Recognised as one of the best post-impressionist artists, Robin’s skill and complete command of his palette set him aside from his contemporaries. Combining his deft and delicate touch with vigorous, dramatic brush strokes and palette knife work, he produced exceptional paintings.