Exhibitions

2018: 23rd July – 21st January 2019 Henry’s Coffee Shop, Market Square, Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire GL6 9BW.

2019: 11th-19th May, Select Open Studios, home studio Minchinhampton, Stroud.

2019: 30th July – 4th August Lansdown Arts Showcase, Lansdown Hall & Gallery, Lansdown, Stroud GL5 1BB.

2019: 16th September – 26th October. Hobbs House Bakery, 4 George Street Nailsworth, Gloucestershire GL6 0AG.

Artist statement

I am a Cotswold based artist, and I divide my time between my home near Stroud and Cornwall, where I used to live. I paint using inks and powdered bronzes to create art maps with a contemporary interpretation on places and locations that people find connection with. Within each piece, my aim is to celebrate the cultural and natural heritage of a place.  I decide on an animal that is woven into the heritage of an area to represents the location chosen. I want to highlight the ‘living history’ that still inhabits our ancient landscapes and consider the important role that these animals and locations play in the biodiversity of our environment.

I grew up in rural Oxfordshire and and spent my childhood outdoors. To me, nature represents and defines life. I was always taught to look and keep on looking. This appreciation of the natural world was a key part of my childhood and is central to who I am, and how I think and feel today. Nature, if you allow it, forces us to realise we are just a small link in a big chain. So, nature has taught me to keep my perspectives wider and my horizons broader.

I also love colour. It can instantly connect with our own internal hardware, igniting a spark, linking up what we see and how it makes us feel. This experience between us and how we view the world around us is what makes me feel alive. This is what drives me to paint.

My process

I really enjoy the process of creating the artwork. There’s a mix of excitement and nervous unpredictability when I look at a blank piece of paper or canvas and go on a journey to create something from nothing.

For my current series of work, I will sketch my ideas out linking a place with an object or animal that represents it. The finished piece will have a map of a specific location incorporated within it. This could involve using the landmass to help define the place or a map itself. I will then work on a series of rough sketches and paintings to get the feel for the colours and any detailed features. I am currently painting with acrylic inks and powdered bronzes. The inks give such rich, bold colour combined with a fluidity I really enjoy working with. I am keen to embrace the effects of how the different inks react with each other and love the unpredictability of what might happen on the paper.

Current series of work ‘Cotswold to Coast’

I have formed a series of work that combines my love of nature and colour with a sense of individuality. I wanted to create paintings that could link people to a place they love. This ongoing series is the result of a unique concept that I came up with nearly four years ago. I have always loved maps. You can find so many themes within them- history, geography, exploration, adventure, origin and destination. They are open to interpretation by the viewer and this is why I have chosen maps as a source of inspiration for my work.

To produce each piece of artwork, I use OpenStreetMap for referencing the map information I will need for a location. OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map of the whole world that is being built by volunteers largely from scratch and released with an open-content license.

https://www.openstreetmap.org/copyright

Cotswolds

Living in the Cotswolds is exciting. It’s an area full of outdoor adventure, cultural celebration and creative arts. I have chosen to paint locations in my surrounding area. These locations have inspired the animals that have become the subject of each painting, representing each place. For example, the Highland Cow represents Minchinhampton as these beautiful animals graze the common land and wander through town. I have painted several hares as these are a well-recognised symbol of the Cotswolds and are woven into the culture and history of the region.

Cornwall

I lived in Cornwall for seven years and in that time, constantly explored the coastal and inland beauty that uniquely define Cornwall. I have an irrepressible draw to the sea and this drives the inspiration for my coastal work.

Testimonials

When a good friend’s 60th birthday was coming around, my wife and I commissioned Gemma to create a piece of art encompassing the Cowal Peninsular for us. Having presented her with the region we wanted featured, Gemma came up with the idea of the stag to represent the area. We are absolutely delighted with the end result. Gemma liaised with us throughout the process ensuring we got exactly what we wanted. Thank you so much Gemma for this unique piece of art. Guy and Verity Jefferies

Warwickshire

Receiving the Cowal Stag as a present for a big birthday was very special. The area holds such happy family memories for me. To own such a unique and personal memento is a privilege and will be treasured for years to come. Allan Dick

Northamptonshire