Drawing on MindScape
The Katie Lindsay Gallery is excited to announce Shanti Panchal’s first exhibition in Ireland of 18 watercolours of varying sizes.
Panchal defines his painting technique: “I use watercolour on thick, rough paper; applying many layers; mixing colours directly on the paper, scratching and scraping.“
It’s a slow process resulting in textured, velvet-like surfaces.
With peerless craftsmanship the artist combines the old with the new citing influences from Indian miniaturist painting, Buddhist frescoes and medieval Christian icons; Mark Rothko’s large abstract colour fields and the candied backdrops of Francis Bacon.
Each work demonstrates a subtle blending of the poetic forces from two cultures; east and west; he combines different aesthetic values i.e. the symbolism of Jain miniature paintings with western art styles like abstract expressionism.
In the larger works his figures occupy empty theatrical spaces. A vacant chair or a bulk of a wall serve, not only as pictorial devices, to point to something; an absence maybe or ‘a void.’ All this conjuring urgent, timely questions about our identities, nationhood and sense of belonging: Where is home? Do we carry our homes with us? Does home reside in our imagination?
Panchal was born in 1951 in North Gujarat, Mesar ; a small village in India. In 1978, after completing five years of study at the Sir JJ School of Art in Mumbai where he trained in western art and Indian miniatures, he won a British Council award to study for two years at the Byam Shaw School of Art in the UK.
His talents were soon acknowledged. 1980’s London was entering a radical mood and with the New Labour government’s drive to be inclusive he was commissioned by the GLC ( Greater London Council ) to make a pro-diversity mural celebrating Asian and Black culture alongside (Turner Prize winner 2017 / Tate Modern 2022) Lubiana Hamid, Gavin Jantjes and Keith Piper ; only Panchal’s mural survives.
In 2022 a second major public art work was commissioned from the artist by Art on The Underground , TFL for Brixton station and launched on the 17th of November 2022.
Shanti Panchal is a recipient of many prizes including the BP Portrait award in 1991, The prestigious John Moores Prize , twice, in 1989 and 2018 . He has been artist in residence at the British museum in 1994 and held solo shows at The Museum of Modern Art Oxford 1993, Pitzhanger Manor in 2000 and Chelmsford Museum 2007 and more recently with the Ben Uri 2020; to mention only a few.
Into the Mystic
The Katie Lindsay Gallery is delighted to present Ross Miley’s first solo show. Ross Miley is from Greyabbey and graduated from Manchester School of Art with First Class honours in 2022. This series of new paintings relate to his move back home from Manchester to a studio in Carrowdore, the Ards Peninsula, Northern Ireland. Miley explains how these paintings are not of any particular landscape but influenced by being in the surrounding landscapes and the changing seasons.
Miley often paints with music playing in the background. He’s spoken about inspiration from tracks like Radiohead’s Weird Fishes/Arpeggi and there is a link to an industrial, ‘punk aesthetic’ in some of his colour choices; the petrol blues, candy pinks and neon oranges. There is a softness too; looking at colours through a veil.
The title of this show is borrowed from the famous Van Morrison track; ‘Into the Mystic’. In an interview, Van Morrison recalled how “that song is kind of funny because when it came time to send the lyrics in WB Music, I couldn’t figure out what to send them. Because really the song has two sets of lyrics. For example, there’s ‘I was born before the wind’ and ‘I was borne before the wind,’ and also ‘Also younger than the sun, Ere the bonny boat was one'...
There is a draw, for Miley too, to the “sounds” words make, in place of their meanings, as he explores ‘writing’ for its artistic form and expresses “feelings ” rather than recording any particular place.
Like another of his heroes, Cy Twombly, the American abstract expressionist, Miley’s paintings linger at a threshold between words and the things they describe… The key thing being “words not making sense” — he trips over himself, perhaps consciously and evokes feelings (where words fall short) like passion, vulnerability and bliss.
Singing with the Tide
Betsy Bradley regards painting as a life force; a direct outlet for recording the invisible energy that connects us with the world. Having viewed her work as a dance between body and mind, thought and action, in this exhibition she considers painting as singing with the natural shifts that exist all around. The dancing of sunlight through the trees, the recent reappearance of the swallows, the tide. As an artist who interacts directly with her current surroundings, she engages in a natural and intuitive conversation with the local environment.
To sing with the tide is to joyfully embrace the uncontrollable, the impermanent. The tide moves with a life of its own. In her paintings, Bradley works playfully with the unpredictable; harmonising with elements that are beyond her control by pouring sea water over the surface, or using fabrics whose natural qualities give surprising effects, inviting the play of light. By letting go of expectations there are always discoveries to be made. This fluid approach is translated through intuitive movements of the body; dynamic gestures that take on a life of their own. When we tune in to the motion of all things, we can live more lightly. It is hoped that these works will share this liberating energy with the viewer, inviting us to notice the transient magic of in all phenomena.