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WATCH: Trees meet sea and stones to celebrate nature in new exhibition

WATCH: Trees meet sea and stones to celebrate nature in new exhibition

Sunday 28 June 2020

WATCH: Trees meet sea and stones to celebrate nature in new exhibition


Seascapes, tree silhouettes, granites and exotic coloured marbles all mix in a new exhibition which celebrates the deep connection two local artists have with nature.

‘Lines of Desire’ brings together the paintings and sculptures of local artists Nicola Lucas and Mark Guest.

It opens on Monday (29 June) at Private & Public Gallery and will continue until 17 July. It can also be viewed online through a virtual tour and a short video.

Video: Gallery Director Chris Clifford talks about the exhibition with Nicola Lucas.

Best known for her monochrome images of winter trees and bold watercolour woodlands, Nicola Lucas - Community Events Curator at Jersey Heritage - is presenting a new body of work which she has been working on since January. It includes tree silhouettes but also a series of seascapes, inspired by her daily swimming sessions which she undertakes “fore for the feeling of exhilaration than for anything else”.

“I have been painting trees since 2012 now, it’s the longest I have stuck with a theme and there’s still so much to explore,” she told Gallery Director Chris Clifford. 

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Pictured: Nicola Lucas has been painting trees since 2012.

The paintings are full of texture, a result of Nicola’s first career as a textile designer. 

“Texture is incredibly important,” she said. “I am really pleased with the way they are progressing. I wanted to convey the lines of desire, the trees always kind of make their own path so it almost feels like you are not in control of the route you take and that’s what I try to convey within the abstract landscape.”

“Over the past three months, there has been a collective, renewed appreciation and longing for nature, heightened by the fact that in the initial days of lockdown we were allowed just a few hours in the open air,” Mr Clifford commented. 

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Pictured: The exhibition also includes a series of seascapes.

“The result left many of us feeling a deep craving for the natural world. Nicola Lucas’s latest paintings reflects upon this essential connection with nature, contemplating the unique healing power of trees and salt-water and how woodlands seem to intentionally create desire lines to lead us to where we need to be at exactly the right time.”

Also, in the exhibition is a selection of work from Mark Guest whose large scale, hand carved stone sculptures, are on public display around the island and in many important private collections. 

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Pictured: Mark works exclusively in a diverse range of stone including granites and exotic coloured marbles.

Mark works exclusively in a diverse range of stone including granites and exotic coloured marbles and carves his sculptures in an “immediate and intuitive fashion leaving beautifully considered and balanced forms which sit still, silent and emanating a calming and ethereal beauty”, Mr Clifford said.

“There is also a timeless quality to Mark’s sculptures which seem to transcend millennia,” the Gallery Director added. :Engraved classical Roman marble is transformed into contemporary sculpture through the artist’s amazing ability to carve stone so thin, in negative relief, that the medium becomes utterly translucent.

"The alabaster windows of Valencia’s gothic Cathedral are perhaps the only other examples in the cannon of Western Art that compare.”

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Pictured: "Mark Guest’s obsession with natural stone has resulted in a series of new sculptures that are elegant, refined and provide the perfect complement to Nicola’s paintings."

A perfectionist Mark is obsessed with getting his sculptures to look and feel right and what excites him most is working with stones that are not always compliant or carved in traditional ways, the ones that misbehave, which are unpredictable or obstinate.

“More than anything this is an extraordinarily beautiful exhibition by two artists who have a deep connection with nature,” Mr Clifford said.

“Nicola Lucas’ enduring fascination with trees has resulted in her strongest body of work to date and these highly collectable paintings provide subtlety and sophistication that will enhance any home. 

“Similarly Mark Guest’s obsession with natural stone has resulted in a series of new sculptures that are elegant, refined and provide the perfect complement to Nicola’s paintings. 

"At the height of summer, with long days and joyous sunlight, this calming and serene exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to create a deep connection with the beauty of nature.”

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