Joanna Gore at Canvas and Cream had the hard task of curating a joint show of very different work.

Ashley Hanson and I were voted winners of the Canvas and Cream art prize last February at the inaugural exhibition of this new concept gallery in Forest Hill.

Susan Eyre ‘Entrance’

I was showing ‘Entrance’ in February and Ashley was showing two paintings from his City of Glass series.

For our joint show Ashley had completed his series of 8 paintings inspired by Paul Auster’s novel City of Glass from his ‘New York Trilogy’.

These are large colourful canvasses mapping the land mass and streets of New York through clues and narratives relating to the novel and Ashley’s own memories of New York.

Ashley Hanson ‘City of Glass’ series

Ashley’s interest in the relationship between fact and fiction, natural and man-made landscapes and layering techniques in his work meant we shared some common ground to build a coherent show from.
 
Joanna was drawn to my StrataGem series as she felt these pieces, considering man’s geological interference in the landscape, worked well with Ashley’s take on the geographical changes imposed by the city.

StrataGem series

The StrataGem series imagines the possibility of the formation of geological strata and beautiful gemstones created from the waste of plastic food packaging trays.

From this point we considered what other work of mine would be strong enough to hold its own against Ashley’s vibrant paintings.

I was very happy that we chose the new piece ‘Incidence’ as a complete contrast visually but still relating to the passage of time within the landscape.

Incidence

‘Incidence’ explores both a spiritual and scientific response to nature.

Reflecting on the loss of childhood it exploits a nostalgia for youthful abandon when nature was full of wonders to be discovered.

At the final hanging stage Joanna decided to include two more small pieces of mine and this really balanced the show.

Graft I and Graft II are very much about the changing landscape, the urban and the cultivated space, the hybrid landscapes and the empty in-between spaces where imagination can flourish if nothing else.

Graft II Graft I

Back in the studio I am still working on the idea of the Graft, as a process of cutting and joining using some of the other collagraphs I made as starting points for new pieces.

I am cutting and combining two prints as the background for one image – not a purist approach at all.

I have taken some images of bonsai trees and blown the scale up against the background so they become full-sized fantasy trees.

work in progress

I want to give these trees big shadows but as yet am not sure what medium will work best for this, maybe another collograph printed on top if that is possible once I have joined the background together.

Also I am thinking hard about my practise and its core values while I struggle with my statement for my MA application.

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