This exhibition celebrates the boundless inspiration of nature and the importance of connecting to the natural world and our outdoor spaces in these extraordinary times of lockdown following the global Covid pandemic.
Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present 'Expressions of Nature' including four Oxfordshire artists, Rachel Gracey RE, Rod Craig, Rosannagh Scarlet Esson, and Peter Care, the first of a new series of art exhibitions displayed at the Gardens Gallery Café at Blenheim Palace, from 17th May – 12th September 2021. The exhibitions will showcase the work of regional emerging and mid-career contemporary artists, on show for visitors to the Palace to enjoy in the newly refurbished Gardens Gallery Café, which is the new access to the Formal Gardens.
Celebrating the re-opening of Blenheim Palace after months of lockdown, visitors to Blenheim Palace will be able to see 'Expressions of Nature' an exhibition of paintings, watercolours and lithographic prints by Oxfordshire artists, depicting scenes inspired by nature. Studied by artists for centuries, this exhibition celebrates the boundless inspiration of nature and the environment, and will ‘bring the outdoors in’ at a time when the world has experienced extraordinary times of lockdown due to the global Covid pandemic.
Expressions of Nature includes work by Oxfordshire based artists Rachel Gracey RE, Rod Craig, Rosannagh Scarlet Esson, and Peter Care, whose work is inspired by landscapes and the natural environment, with two of the exhibiting artists focusing on Oxford University Parks, and Blenheim Palace parklands.
About the Artists:
Oxford-based Rachel Gracey (b. 1968) is an artist thrilled by the power of nature. A contemporary printmaker, at the core of her practice we find the created world in all its undulating forms. In 2016 Rachel made a series of works inspired by Oxford’s University Parks. After studying fine art at Bristol, Gracey specialised in printmaking. She gained an MA in Printmaking at Wimbledon School of Art, where her lithographs were awarded the Michael Putnam Prize. Her work is in Collections at the British Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, the Ashmolean Oxford, Guanlan Printmaking Museum and the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen.
Woodstock-based artist, Rod Craig switched to being a full-time artist in 2010 after a long career in design. Motivated by the contrast between city life and the Oxfordshire countryside, Rod has made many studies of the Blenheim Parklands. Rod has work in collections in UK, Germany and New York and exhibits regularly.
Inspiration for his work comes from Rod’s passion for architecture, landscape and the elements: “What interests me most is trying to create a mood of time and place rather than representational studies”.
Based at her studio in Charlbury, Oxfordshire, Rosannagh Scarlett Esson explores the alchemy of painting by abstracting colour and form through exposure to elemental forces. Symbolic and unconventional materials are mixed in experimental ways that work with, rather than against, the transformative effects of fire, rain, ice, time or gravity to reflect the untameable nature of the elements, and the duality of creation and destruction. Themes explored include wildness, rewilding, ecological succession and alchemical symbolism. Since graduating from Oxford Brookes in 2016 with First Class Honours in Fine Art and was awarded the Fine Art Dissertation Prize for the best critical submission in the year. Rosannagh has exhibited in the UK and Europe, and has work in several private collections across the UK.
Oxfordshire based Peter Care graduated in 1973 from Medway College of Art (now part of the University of the Creative Arts). Care's work explores the intense relationship between the viewer and the work of art and raises questions about subject. The real subject for Care is the internal narrative between the artist and his practice. A love of nature informs his work, but he resists literal representation. Care's work controls paint to carefully reveal and expose forms until he is satisfied with the aesthetic result. For Care, the subject reveals itself during the process of painting which then becomes the basis for a whole body of work. The subject in this sense is hidden until it is revealed to the maker.
A Park and Gardens ticket to Blenheim Palace is required to see this exhibition, located in the Gardens Gallery Café. For more information, visit the website.
Rod Craig, One of these days, watercolour, 52 x 36 cm, Rachel Gracey R.E. b. 1968
A Walk in the Parks 7, Lithograph, 91.4 x 68.6 cm, Edition of 5