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Behind The Scenes of Southern Light

Updated: Jan 13

The idea to do an exhibition around Antarctica has been in the pipeline for a while. With my husband travelling regularly to Antarctica, I’ve seen many images of the landscape, and have always been inspired by the space, the light, the colours, and the energy.

I feel my work has reached a point in development where I can portray these features in the series of paintings, and share the beauty of Antarctica in Southern Light.

I decided to create twenty paintings of various sizes, and focus on the different moods I have seen in images of Antarctica. The winter sunrise, which rises slowly and lowly, and how the dark winter sky responds to this breakthrough of light. The stillness of a frozen sea. A snow storm, cold and biting as snow gathers around rocky terrain. A wild Southern sea, inhospitable and frightening, deafening in sound. More than anything, I am inspired by the beauty of light, and how it pushes through a dark sky, bounces off the snow and dances on the water.

When I am creating a body of work for an exhibition, it is important to see how it all works together. I like to spend time in the gallery and plan where everything will go, and how the paintings will work together. Sometimes changes will be made, as the paintings must compliment each other, not compete for attention. The show must feel fluid, and aesthetically pleasing to the viewer, and this happens on a subconscious level. We know when something doesn’t feel ‘right’ but often we don’t know why.

Occasionally titles will present themselves to me while I am painting. Others need to wait until the work is complete. A title will also feel right when it fits, and the wrong title can make a big difference to the overall experience. Words complement the visual painting and can also offer some insight into the artist’s objective on what the painting is about.

I work on a few canvases at the same time, as they need time to settle and space to come together. Once all the paintings are complete, there is still much work to be done. All paintings are signed and sealed with a light gloss varnish, the backing hooks and wire is attached and the title is decided upon. Once the titles are confirmed, a digital catalogue, price list, artist statement and other supporting materials can be created.

I love the process of preparing for an exhibition, as long as I give myself enough time and there is no rush at the end. I want to create my best work, and if a piece doesn’t feel right, I’ll redo it, or substitute it for another painting. I want to feel proud of the final collection - and be ready to share it with the world!

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