Last Friday, January 20 2017, I went to the Towner gallery to see Towards Night exhibition and to hear the artist and curator Tom Hammick talk about how and why the exhibition came together. The paintings and prints had been selected on the theme of dusk and night time. For me there was something very comforting about many of the paintings, the richness and depth of colour that painting the night brings. Strange really as one might think of the dark and night time in a negative way, but not with these paintings and this exhibition which felt very human.
Looking for an image of House
Susie Hamilton's Blue Petrol Station 1996 and Humphrey Ocean's House 2007 offer an aesthetic I am particularly partial to and have in fact explored with abstract paintings in the past, a deep blue hue slashed with light. There's something about the light giving away something hidden beneath, like riding a bus in the dark and seeing houses with their curtains closed, slices of light escaping between gaps in the curtains, alluding to secrets yet to be discovered. It could be said that a petrol station also has secrets, we don't know what delights or disappointments we might find when we get to it, a shining apparition in the distance.
The painting which I enjoyed the most is Echo Lake (1998) by Peter Doig, I've always loved his drippy soft focus paintings. I don't know that I would have known that this is supposed to be a night scene, but on reflection maybe the dark sky is a clue? I particularly like the police car, possibly because it is so American looking and adds context to the piece. The paint itself seemed very thin and thinned down, the opposite to the way I like my paint, thick and textural. Yet it makes me wonder, why not paint things, stuff, scenes? Not ready for that at the moment, not where my head's at.