An exhibition of recent works by artist Phoebe Cope. The paintings and sculpture in the show respond to thoughts and ideas that hold meaning in the artist’s world, and explore important questions in today’s largely virtual existence.
With a sense of defiance and rebellion against the world of hashtags and digital footprints, the work rejoices in its materiality; in the medium itself and its redness, blueness and yellowness. These paintings are evidence of a self-centred simple-mindedness, ignorant of the outcomes of the reconfiguration of the world’s divisions. They bear witness to stillness, to the joy and gratitude of being alive, to the fortune at being able to hear the gurgling burn, smell the pine’s cones and its wood’s smoke, and hear the calls to a dinner. They are filled with the vitality and brilliant colours of the ever-changing seasons and cycles of nature, with an emphasis on the individuality of trees and the important role they play within our ecology.
They were made with a desire to continue wandering even in the domestic environs, to discern the fine line between the vision of a tourist who complains versus the vision of a pilgrim who celebrates, and strives for the good life of ‘growing your own’. With a sense of flux, and light self-satire, these are captured in earnest. They seek to demonstrate, educate and function as a slow form of entertainment. They were therefore made for children, in a practice of drawing as play and play as drawing, to learn as a grown adult from one’s offspring what has been lost in this last generation.
Cope believes that being a painter now, more than ever before, has never been so poignant. She questions how to revitalise and inspire the human race to re-engage and sensitise themselves to the nuances of the vital world around them; to gain epiphanies from epiphytes, and to distinguish between watching a documentary on Netflix and actively observing and drawing, with an attentive eye and charcoal stick in hand.
These recent paintings and drawings are testimony to her belief in the tangible, a return to thoughtful silence and patience, and the active participation in and appreciation of our natural world.