Nov. 18, 2020 - Nov. 22, 2020
Pavilion GalleryGET TICKETS
In 2018 Andrew Gifford began a series of paintings of Hawthorns in the South Downs. It culminated in a group of intense woodland paintings made during the spring and summer of lockdown, shown here for the gallery’s first exhibition at Cromwell Place.
The Hawthorn doesn't appear like a typical tree, more an unstructured confusion of
thorns, blossom and branches, tangled up in every direction, and seemingly
impossible to draw. Andrew Gifford's first, minutely observed spring studies were to
form the start of a series of increasingly complex paintings of Hawthorns and
woodland made over the next three years and across every season.
In early 2020 Gifford began to paint within the woods themselves. Like the
Hawthorns, the coppiced woodlands he walked through shared the same
mesmerising, unstructured chaos. “I wanted to make paintings that immersed you in
the woods, where your senses could be overwhelmed by the confusion of branches
and brambles and sunlight. After the Hawthorns, the woods were a different
challenge – I had to find compositions that could work as paintings, but still felt
arbitrary”. Gifford returned most weeks to paint the same place. During the winter
months he painted silver birches in the late afternoon sun, but with lockdown and the
better spring weather, the woodland floor was transformed with fast-moving, dappled
sunlight lighting up clumps of bluebells, nettles and moss and creating new rhythms
of colour around the multiple stems of coppiced hornbeams, hazels and birch.
The paintings are brought together for an exhibition taking place in the Pavilion
Gallery at Cromwell Place, the newly opened gallery hub in South Kensington.
In the spring of 2018 there was a particularly intense blossoming of Hawthorn, a tree with such a history of myth and superstition. I started painting them on the South Downs and continued over the seasons.
About the Hosts
John Martin Gallery
The gallery has participated in numerous art fairs in Europe and the US and has collaborated on exhibitions with public institutions including Leeds City Art Gallery, Penlee House, Middlesbrough Art Gallery, Fruitmarket Gallery and the V&A. The gallery will present new artists, large-scale exhibitions and use the member spaces for meetings and administration.