Exhibition Gran Caffe
until 13th May 2019
by Kay Hare
I had been living and working in central London for over ten years and I found moving to the south of France liberating and inspiring. My work in London was still abstract in nature and dreamy landscapes but more of an interior world. When I moved to the South of France this inner interior world opened up a wider more real landscape. Dreaming of warmer climates and bright blue skies gradually merged and manifested into my everyday life. Jasmine garden is influenced by the backdrop of mountains on the Cote d’Azur and the delicate smell of jasmine in spring.
Cap Martin is not far from the border of Italy, where in spring there is an abundance of colour and in particular the bougainvillaea flowers non stop as you drive into Italy. All of these influences and inspires my work. I am not making copies of the landscape, more taking my favourite aspects and merging them with my imagination, creating make-believe worlds and happy ever landscapes. I paint in oil and mix turpentine and sometimes linseed oil. I paint on the floor and this painting was actually painted from my front living room. When I first moved to the South of France I was so eager to start painting, I shifted the furniture to one side and as soon as it was warm enough, opened all the windows and placed bubble wrap on the tiled floor and started painting.
Before I get the urge and the persistent desire to paint I have, usually, either spent weeks or months walking and drawing the landscape or sometimes it is a particular subject such as the horse. Jasmine garden was direct communication with my surrounding garden and the coastline of the Cote d’Azur.
I have always been interested in pushing the image further, breaking down limitations and supposed ideas. At Byam Shaw where I completed my formal training in 2000, I was encouraged by Sarah Pickstone, a visiting artist to turn my beautiful, hours spent drawing upside down and continue drawing. This, at first felt like vandalism but it was a great lesson that I have never forgotten. I like to create images that encourage different ways of seeing and being influenced by artists such as Monet, Georgia Okeefe, Cy Twombly and in particular Odilon Redon. There are many more artists but I am encouraged when I see the dreamy, floating aspect of painting.
Dreams are important for me as they blur my understanding of who I am. My dreams bring me back time and time again to ask questions about where do I go when I dream. What is real? My everyday existence here, or my dream state. I started looking at this with a painting created in London, oil on linen 100x 120cm titled ‘Floating thoughts’ for me this was the start of investigating and looking beyond my thoughts and memories. Going past being the watcher of my thoughts and of course diluting the conscious, ego state. What is beyond this, is the real.
Perhaps years spent working as an artist, often in blissful days of silence has brought me to the space of constant contemplation and of course a questioning of what I am painting. I have now reached the understanding of Samadhi and realise that the more you try to explain this meditative, silent space the more it is unreachable. Not, dissimilar to paintings, for example, the Chinese painter Zao Wou-ki who never really catches the image but merely hints at something that could exist, or maybe not.
Inspiring international lifestyles based on the French Riviera