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  • Writer's picturejulie leach

Broadway Open Art Competition and Selling Exhibition

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

Online 29 May - 31 December

The Broadway Open Arts Competition had a fantastic response with over 700 entries from across the UK and Europe. I was delighted to be included in the final selection of 200 artists to show their work in the online selling exhibition.

The theme of the exhibition is 'Hinterland'. There are two common definitions of this word, the second of which describes Hinterland as

" ...... an area lying beyond what is visible or known."

I hoped my work could make a valuable contribution to an audiences viewing and reflection of this notion. My work aims to make the invisible visible by enabling the wind as artist to express it's mark and flow. Although we can see the impact of the wind on vegetation and other objects around us, we cannot see the wind itself. The hundreds of wind drawings I have facilitated over that last few years has been a journey of discovery as I have documented and made visible and known an increasing number of unique wind events.

All my work begins with a wind drawing and some ends there. The wind drawing I submitted to this exhibition, made by Storm Ciara, is a one such case, a one off, finished art work. It is an original, large contemporary drawing on paper sized 123 x 79 cms unframed. It documents the course of Storm Ciara on 9 February 2020 as it passed through my garden at 61 mph south westerly for 445 minutes. Ciara was a particularly challenging wind to document, full of inconsistencies and, at times, a lot of rain. It was worth the nearly 8 hours of being blown and buffeted in the midst of the storm as I tried to keep the drawing aleatory. The outcome is so much in keeping with the character of the storm and captures my experience of it with elegance and elucidation.

Some wind drawings are not made on paper but on other substrates that allow them to be developed into original prints such as etchings or screen prints. This is very different to scanning an image into a computer and reproducing it ad infinitum on what ever scale is desired. My original prints stay true to the winds initial intention, no digital processes are employed, no mark is added or subtracted and the scale remains the same. Etchings are made in editions of 8 and screen prints in editions of 4. The edition size is kept so low because each wind event is unique and I wish to respect that. The screen print below is in the exhibition. It is 'Wind Dance Storm Eleanor (shadow black) – Storm Eleanor through the Pampas, 49 mph westerly, 215 minutes'.

This large, hand made original print is 69 x 97 cm and is framed beautifully by Joe Cashman of Bristol in a stained wood frame 90 x 119 cm, behind non-reflective glass. There are 3 layers of pigment beginning with a deep, almost velvety Paynes Grey background over which Storm Eleanor's artistry is laid firstly in pale grey and then white. It has a depth that makes the observer feel the 3 dimensional nature of the wind and such a multitude and intricacy of marks it almost blows the mind. In storm conditions a mark is made on average once per second and as this work is a double layer it is likely that there are in the region of 25,000 marks here.

A second screen print for sale in this exhibition is a much smaller screen print entitled 'Liminal Space' - image 12 x 12 cm - simply framed 25 x 25 cm.

This print plays with three dimensionality in a different way. Hand screen printed on to draughting paper the viewer can see through from one layer to another. It has a more obscure and mysterious atmosphere to it that plays with ones perceptions of invisibility, intangiblity and impermanence.

The final piece available is hand screen printed on silk. Although the work could be framed, it is currently left so that it can be hung as a wall hanging and able to move with the movement of air in keeping with it's concept and creation.

As with all my work it can be hung either landscape or portrait. This work uses an additional technique of discharge printing where dye is removed from the silk to create some of the marks. The marks become absent and only visible because of the presence of the grey of the surrounding silk. It is called 'Wind Silk II - Wind through the Pampas, 49 mph westerly 215 minutes and measures 183 x 54 cms.

I am grateful to the Broadway Arts Festival and their sponsors for creating this opportunity and to the judges: Stewart Geddes and Ann Blockley who did a brilliant job under very difficult circumstances. Particular thanks to Arabella Kiszely of the Little Buckland Gallery for all her hard work.

This is the first online version of the competition and I hope you enjoy browsing the exhibition and purchasing the work. Visit the Broadway Arts Festival website to discover more.

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