showcasing at the Bear Den Art Lounge
Ink and Wire
Charlotte Johnson / Rosie Brown
8 - 29 August 22
Charlotte Johnston’s paintings are derived from observational drawings and are a re-ordering of her experiences using a more abstract language of mark making. She uses drawing as a form of research to investigate the physical rhythms and structures in nature. Previously, subtropical botanical gardens and the West Coast of Scotland were her inspiration, but 2020 Johnson was able to access imagery of l’île de la Reunion through daily video calls, which transformed her studio process. She began taking condensed versions of landscape and further exploring them in a cyclical group of works. These large drawings and paintings aim to give the viewer an immersive, sensual experience.
Johnston is a Fine Art Painting Graduate from Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University and completed the Postgraduate Diploma in Drawing at the Royal Drawing School in 2017. During study on the Drawing Year in London, Johnston had the opportunity to draw frequently in large public museums and galleries across the city; the National Gallery, the British Museum, the V&A and the Whitechapel Gallery (where she was also a drawing tutor). She has exhibited work at Christie’s London and Compass Gallery Glasgow. Johnson’s work also features in private collections internationally, including H.R.H the Prince of Wales. In more recent Postgraduate study, Johnson achieved a Distinction for her thesis on ‘Dammar Resin’s origin - use and value within the context of nineteenth century of Art Material Trade’ during her study of Conservation of Fine Art MA, specialising in Easel Painting as a Plowden Trust Scholar.
Rosie Brown’s wire creations are inspired by British wildlife, highlighting its delicate fragility by twisting fine wire into the shapes and shadows of a world that constantly surprises.
“Through my wire work I hope to bring out the beauty and wonder of movement and form of British wildlife by transforming them into works of art for people to view and appreciate in a hope that they will do the same for their real-life counterparts. We mostly catch glimpses of critters, but pretty much ignore them. We tend to think of humans as separate from the wildlife and go about our daily lives. Yet the truth is that most people don’t really see or appreciate the wildlife that is right in our backyard.”
Brown’s work doesn’t look like what one thinks of when hearing the words “wildlife sculpture”. She ‘draws’ her chosen subject, the delicate outlines pencilled in with a fine grey line, the wire emanating a presence of strength, that show a sensitive and intuitive connection to what she sees. Rosie‘s wirework enhances and brings out the beauty and wonder of our wildlife. Despite the initial appearance of simplicity, the process of twining and wrapping multiple wires to create the illusion of the owl soaring in for a meal or the hare leaping is painstaking. The result is spectacular.
Rosie was a winner of the Manchester Craft and Design Centre Young Makers Award and recently shown at the Mall Galleries.
Charlotte and Rosie’s bold and captivating artworks are the fourth of our 'Open Call' exhibitions for the newly opened Bear Den Art Lounge.
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