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WATCH: Enchanting exhibition shows the power of water

WATCH: Enchanting exhibition shows the power of water

Monday 09 December 2019

WATCH: Enchanting exhibition shows the power of water


A local artist is showcasing the “extraordinary power” of Jersey’s coastal waters in an explosion of greens, whites and blues in a new exhibition.

‘Personal Sanctuary’ – which continues at Private and Public Space until Christmas Eve - is a collection of 28 paintings inspired by Nicholas Romeril’s, “...deep-rooted physical and emotional connection to the sea."

“It’s basically about my relationship of the sea and my studio,” Romeril commented on the exhibition, which is sponsored by Quilter Cheviot. “I have the same effect when I go to both. I go to the sea to cast my negative feelings. And when you are at the sea and you are looking at it, even though you are beside somebody, it’s a very personal connection."

Video: Dive into Romeril's 'Personal Sanctuary'.

He continued: “You are often transferred into a different world; you are looking at the movement and the way the light reflects. I find it a great way to just go and lose yourself for a couple of hours. 

“And then likewise, when I am in my studio that is also another personal sanctuary so it’s another place that I can kind of forget what’s going on in the world and just concentrate on the paintings I am doing.” 

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Pictured: Romeril says the sea is one of his personal sanctuaries.

“For me the experience of being next to and in the sea is central to how these paintings have been created and I have become increasingly fascinated by the way our crystal clear coastal seas trap natural sunlight and create an enchanted luminosity in all depths of water,” Romeril added.

“To be able to capture that raw feeling in my paintings gives me enormous pleasure, and I sincerely hope that everybody who attends my exhibition will connect with these works and feel that same joy."

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Pictured: All of the paintings have been created in the last year.

Romeril created the 28 paintings over the last 12 months, amid a busy schedule that included an exhibition inspired by his Antarctic Adventures in London, a pop-up show about penguins, sculpting and the decoration of a life-size gorilla sculpture

Although he spends long hours in the studio, the artist says it is the price to pay to keep his own sanity.

“It’s my job and I like my job so it’s not really a chore to get into the studio each day,” he said. “I do work quite a lot. if I am not doing something, I think I would probably get a bit potty.”

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Pictured: "These new paintings transcend traditional forms of representation," said Gallery Director Chris Clifford.

For Gallery Director Chris Clifford, the paintings are “by far [Romeril’s] most stunning paintings to date”.

“Having visited Nick’s studio many times over the last year it is clear that these new paintings transcend traditional forms of representation and have come to signify an emotional and spiritual cleansing,” Mr Clifford said. 

“These are unquestionably his most powerful paintings to date and visitors to the gallery will not fail to be impressed by their sheer technical complexity and extraordinary beauty. “Nicholas Romeril, Jersey’s greatest living painter, has beautifully captured our dreams and memories.”

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Pictured: The exhibition also includes a series of works by British artist Emily Croft-Baker.

In addition to Romeril’s paintings the gallery is also presenting a selection of versatile evocative and expressionistic work in oils, acrylics and pastels by British artist Emily Croft-Baker. 

Her work draws on life events as inspiration and she attributes her versatile work style to her own life-long self-teachings, along with her artist grandfather’s influence in early life.  

She believes that a greater universal energy often guides her work process and that as she continues to evolve and develop as a person, so too will her work.

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Pictured: The paintings are part of a series which addresses the four critical elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

The paintings displayed are part of a series called 'Elemental', which addresses the four critical elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

Croft-Baker said: “According to the ancients, these four elements, or energy forces, sustain
life and maintain balance, as well as our physical and psychological well-being and I hope that my paintings resonate a powerful theme of universal freedom."

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