Trio of leading artists unveil A Strange Reality at Warrington gallery
Three experienced artists have collaborated to create an impressive exhibition which explores A Strange Reality at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.
The exhibition, featuring more than 30 canvases including several large scale works, launched on Saturday with an informal talk by the artists – John Elcock, Josie Jenkins and Paul Mellor – and runs until Saturday 16 September.
A Strange Reality sees each of these leading artists express a distinct and individual style, while sharing a common interest in exploring the exciting possibilities of paint and the enduring importance of the landscape tradition.
The paintings on display examine the sublime, memory, recollection and ambiguity, and include references to art history, cinema, urban decay and isolated landscapes.
Speaking on behalf of the artists, Josie said: “There are concurrent themes running through the work that we selected for the exhibition.
“We are all using a landscape setting but the paintings are in many cases about humanity: human thought, emotion, behaviour and psychology.
“We wanted to show how landscape can be used to explore the strange reality of the world around us.”
An award-winning artist, Josie is originally from the East Riding of Yorkshire but is now based in Liverpool.
Using landscape or outdoor space as a subject matter, Josie depicts the physical evidence of human behaviour.
She is interested in making work which brings about the emotion of wonder, either due to its subject matter or through the construction of the artwork.
John Elcock is a visual artist with an interest in landscape and symbolism. His paintings respond to objects or locations with a unique sense of place, whether expressed in their light, geology, sheer remoteness or birdlife.
It is a response, he argues, that is a continuation of the classical landscape tradition in its attempt to reveal something of the sublime in the world around us.
Paul Mellor’s work considers themes of isolation, melancholy, history, memory, loss, allegory and mortality, and displays faith in the continuing relevance of painting in a digital age.
A recurring concern of his work is to open a dialogue that seeks to interpret a psychological space that is more representative of a state of mind than any specific place.
Roger Jeffery, exhibitions and interpretation officer for Culture Warrington, the charity which runs Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, said: “This is a really engaging display which shows how relevant landscape painting still is.
“The three artists’ use of landscape to explore the human world is intriguing and provides a fascinating context to the striking work exhibited.”