Metal and Glass
DONNA GOOLD AND HELEN SLATER
Donna Goold’s paintings are an exploration of colour and light. Working purely by hand and without the use of brushes, Donna carefully layers thin veils of high pigment oil and wax onto an aluminium surface, which in turn acts like a mirror and significantly enhances the colour. Tiny details and fingerprints left behind from the making process that only reveal themselves in certain light, literally give a personal touch to the painting.
In this exhibition of twenty brand new paintings, although we see a continuation of Donna’s passion to interpret sky and water, we often see a new element depicted within the paintings; a tiny dog on the beach, a castle or a tree. These single additions ground the painting in reality and prevent it tipping into what could otherwise be seen as a completely abstract impression of colour.
The scale of this body of work is significantly broad. Paintings such as ‘Nightfall’ measure just 30cm wide, whilst other paintings such as ‘Cirrus Spissatus’ and ‘Copper Crown’ are well over 100cm. They are all framed in the same way with a deep white moulding creating the ultimate entrapment of the colours in the paintings; the pure white surround giving the final amplification of their beauty yet also giving them the room that they now need to breathe.
Helen Slater exploits the qualities of the material with technical brilliance as the glass is made to magnify, refract, distort or obscure; it shines, reflects, glistens and at times may appear frosted or hazy. As the viewer shifts position around the piece subtle changes in how the image is seen occur making these living dynamic objects.
Bubbles and other tiny process traces always remind us that these are individually made art pieces. All these characteristics give the works an elusive, dream-like ethereal quality; they make us question what we see and prompt our own memory of places like those depicted in the drawn interior.
Sitting alongside the landscape glass artworks, Helen has also produced a distinct body of work that investigates the optical perception of image in glass. These kiln formed ‘Lenticular Designs’ explore optical illusion; concentric rings, circles and lines in geometric arrangements create the illusion of movement in hypnotic mesmerising waves and shifts as the viewer moves around them. The glass transforms the image and the image becomes visible through the viewers interaction.
The middle ground between her optical work and the landscape themes does not of course have a defined division; hers is a working process that allows a number of concerns to integrate and cross over as she constantly seeks to deepen and develop these exciting and thought-provoking glass works.