Gillian Lee Smith Northumberland, United Kingdom
Exploring the lost and found, the past and how it has shaped us, connection and heritage are the themes central to my work. I seek to create a certain atmosphere and emotion. All at once imagined and familiar, a connection with the viewer and a continued exploration to find my own place in the world. Inspired by my home in beautiful, rugged Northumberland.
I have found a deep connection with the place where I live and work. The edge between land and sea is particularly inspiring and there are themes that resonate deeply.
The way the weather has shaped the land, the ebb and flow of the tide, the wildness and unpredictability of nature or the mark of humanity on the landscape for good or bad. The colours and textures of a place can be a starting point for creating work that is truly a story of humanity’s unique connection with our surroundings. One that can be explored in an intuitive way and echo our own unique nature as much as the nature of the landscape that I see.
Layers of muted colours and textured paint are built up in the same way that memories are accumulated over our lifetime and from the generations before. A history, half-remembered, stories told and adapted over time. I often feel that rather than painting or drawing on a surface, I am excavating an image, a person or a place, revealing something that has been there for a long, long time. My process is one of applying layers and scraping or erasing away, leaving remnants that are built up and removed over and over until the final image appears.
My latest work is very much inspired by a deep interest in maritime history, imagery and poetry.