Each month one of the art.earth Board of Directors selects an artist from the membership because they are particularly taken with their work. This month our Featured Artist is Teresa Pemberton selected by painter Jane Hodgson..
After working for The Folio Society publishers as advertising director for seventeen years I embarked on a fine art degree course at the University of Hertfordshire. I gained a first class honours degree in painting in 1996 and have since worked full time as an artist exhibiting in galleries both nationally and internationally.
Moving to Cornwall in 2006 has been inspirational. Living by the sea has enabled me to perfect my study of the colours of the sea and its every mood – the potential in colour to express light, space and above all physical sensation has deepened. With the wilderness of Dartmoor and its granite stones and moor on the other side of where we live has provided a contrasting view: a more stark and brooding atmosphere.
Walking in the landscape with an awareness which encompasses what is outwardly visible but also picks up on the passage of time and the artefacts of the ancient past has influenced my painting.
The challenge of absorbing this extra dimension into a synthesis of the hidden and visible has enabled me to find a more abstract freedom of inventiveness using collaged elements alongside my interest in colour.
An exhibition in 2014 at the Plymouth museum showed the excavated burial cist on Whitehorse Hill Dartmoor of a young Bronze Age woman of some wealth whose grave goods included amber jewellery wrapped in a bearskin and basketry holding keepsakes of beads, seeds and grasses, nettles and meadowsweet. This exhibition of treasure from 3,000 years ago has led me to looking into other aspects of landscape where footsteps cover what we do not observe in reality and resulted in an exhibition called Painting the Earth with Granite and Amber. I played with the idea of revealing and concealing spaces and I used collaged canvas elements and ragged edges to mimic the covering of something not visible. The work was a mixture of imagined and real spaces of the peat bog and wilderness combined with delicate jewel-like colours.
My current preoccupation has turned from solely viewing the coastline from the perspective of colour to trying to understand what lies beneath the surface of the sea as it surges to shore. All sorts of debris is hidden in the deep including creatures of all kinds, dead or alive as well as seaweed, sea glass ,stones and grasses which reach our shores and create patterns. Revealing this element and bringing it to the surface of the painting makes for a decorative strata to the work. Scratching into the surface of the oil paint and revealing what lies behind is also a metaphor for what I’m trying to express in a kind of semi abstract narrative: “landscape” being the space between the natural phenomenon and the specific location.
Along my journey I have found many artists useful and inspiring but the list is too long to mention all. The big greats include Matisse and the Fauves and the American abstract expressionists but amongst contemporary painters I would have to say Barbara Rae, Sean Scully, Peter Doig and Patrick Heron, all for their expressive use of colour. My list always changes of course!
My current work is on show at the Brownston Gallery in Modbury, Gallery Tresco on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly and the Wey Gallery in Hampshire; also on show at my studio gallery, which I am always happy to open by appointment.