New gallery at RhueArt and London show for James Hawkins
With his new cut-outs, Hawkins breaks away from the ‘tyranny of the rectangle’:
WHEN I began cutting out paintings I had a notion to draw attention to the painted mark; to celebrate its interwoven complexity, its taught energy and its innate beauty. I aspired to do this without considering so much what the mark represented but really just to see it for itself. I knew I was embarking on an exciting journey but I couldn’t see beyond the next bend in the road.
I now understand that the cut edge refers to both the mark and what it represents, and that, for example, cutting out the edge of a mountain takes the eye straight to that mountain as subject. It is in fact how we look at all things, we focus in on what we wish to see and temporarily blur out what surrounds it. By cutting away at the edges of a painting I can draw with the scalpel and hone the imagery until there is no excess, cropping until all that is surplus has been removed.
It wasn’t long before I laid the offcuts on a piece and thought of collaging the separate shapes together, the creative process then becomes one of both adding and taking away. I now realize that this method of building a painting echoes the ‘no loss’ procedures I had so enjoyed when editing video on a computer – the ability to temporarily change part of an image and then revert to the original if necessary is very different from the linear process of painting that is always development in one direction with little possibility of return.
The first pieces were done on paper, float-mounted on foam board and framed behind glass to protect the delicate edges; ironically, I was breaking the tyranny of the rectangle and then restating it. I am experimenting with new materials to make large cutouts robust enough to be freestanding. These substantial pieces are painted on polyester canvas then laminated to carbon fibre and core board; protective finishes and varnish allow them to hang on external as well as internal walls. This new work is the focus for Cutting Edge.
James Hawkins, March 2012
Cutting Edge: new work by landscape artist James Hawkins
The Gallery in Cork Street, Mayfair, London 12 – 16 June, 2012
RhueArt opens new gallery space at Rhue, Ullapool
RHUEART promotes contemporary artists based in the UK and Ireland, whose work encompasses painting, film-making, photography, textiles and sculpture.
The new Rhueart Gallery will show work by artists represented by RhueArt alongside site-specific installations. The Gallery will be formally opened by Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, on 25 April, The inaugural exhibition features works in stone by sculptor Mary Bourne and wall-mounted jewellery by Lucy Woodley. Helen Denerley’s wild animal sculptures prowl the grounds.
RhueArt is a Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) account-managed business. RhueArt Gallery’s innovative renewable heating system was partially funded by the Scottish Rural Development Programme and with help from Highland Opportunites – representatives from the aformentioned expect to attend the gallery launch.
James Hawkins continues to work and exhibit at his open studio, adjacent to the gallery. RhueArt Gallery & James Hawkins’s Rhue Studio open Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.