The Seasons' Ebb

New Art Centre
Roche Court, East Winterslow, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 1BG

19 January - 17 March 2019

The Seasons' Ebb in the Design House, NAC 2019 2.jpg

This exhibition focuses on eight recent large-scale oil paintings, and is Charlotte Verity’s first show with the New Art Centre. It is also the first exhibition in the new gallery space, The Design House, to be devoted to painting.

Charlotte Verity’s paintings are, at first glance, beautiful, simple and elegant; on closer scrutiny, they are, however, far more complex. Her work captures a moment in time and this temporality is redolent of the wider world and the very fundaments of existence. Her subjects - the flowers, plants and fruit in her London garden - are painted slowly over weeks and months. Nature, of course, is in a constant state of flux. Light changes constantly, weather conditions shift, and the seasons pass; painting en plein air is certainly no picnic. And since time moves apace in nature, the moment Verity captures vanishes very quickly, so she may have to wait a full year for the right circumstances to return. It is a paradox then, that the fleeting moment Verity portrays is rendered permanently in her work.

Verity describes how observation ‘underlies every painting that I make’ and in her compositions one starts to appreciate the small marvels to be found in nature: the curve of a stem, the colour of a flower, the formation of its petals, the matrix of branches and a mass of leaves. Paint is applied thinly in muted colours, and the sense of light and space left around the subject matter, are as important as the subjects themselves so that the viewer is compelled to look more closely. ‘Looking and drawing, gazing and drawing – without prejudice’ she says, ‘is like seeing something for the first time with the urgency of a last and final glance.’ Her close interrogation of the simplest things in these paintings, does indeed encourage us to take time, and to look again and again.

The exhibition text by artist Paul Winstanley can be read here.

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