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A Solo Exhibition by HEATHER DUNCAN

5th – 28th October 2022

“An Exhibition about rediscovery, the return of light and joy, and of a new happiness.”

Tragic loss is something that it will never be possible to recover from, but, with time and help from the wonderful, special people around us, it is possible to allow the sadness to exist peaceably and to experience new joy once again. 

This new body of work by Heather Duncan is the result of such a re-surfacing; a rediscovery of life after heartbreak, and looking forward with optimism.

Brightly-coloured contemporary painting entitled 'Learning to Live Again' by Heather Duncan, Oil on canvas, 92x92cm framed
‘Learning to Live Again’ by Heather Duncan, Oil on canvas, 92x92cm framed

Heather has always used the landscape to express her thoughts and emotions; her paintings are filled with blocks of colour, textures of paint and numerous gestures, accents and modulations – representational of cliffs, fields and gateways. Places take on a remarkable importance, in particular the rugged northern landscape of vast Pennine moorland, striking fells and crags, monumental castles, and expansive coastlines. 

In new paintings such as the ‘High Line’ series, the Northumbrian Coast plays a meaningful prominence. The three paintings in this series relate to the two obelisks on the estuary between Holy Island and Bamburgh. The High line and the Low line that help the fishermen by lining up these obelisks, navigate back to safe harbour.

Heather walks, regardless of weather, enjoying the rain in the wind as it blows and swirls; or the sun as it warms her back, the side of her face or makes her shade her eyes as it shines.  All weathers, all times. Two paintings, ‘Yellow Moon’ and ‘Cold Day Walking’ are born of those walks, stomping out onto the moors, listening to the wind and watching the birds soar and jumble in the gusts.

The landscape is constantly shifting, and Heather’s depiction of this change is fascinating to see in ‘Summer Walk’, ‘Autumn Walk’ and ‘Winter Walk’, where she has painted three versions of the same landscape, each radiating a completely different vibe. Alongside the time of year, it is the memory of an experience in this place; a moment of light, of thought, of spirit, that has been captured forever in paint.

Despite the profound meaning behind this new body of work and the paintings with personal titles such as ‘Learning to Live Again’, ‘It Brings me Back to You’ and ‘There is always Hope’, this exhibition is a highly charged, positive presentation of paintings about love, the celebration of life, and future happiness.