Artists follow the right path

Western Telegraph: DIFFERENT IDEAS: Along the Path is the fruit of two very individual responses to the landscape. DIFFERENT IDEAS: Along the Path is the fruit of two very individual responses to the landscape.

An exhibition of new works by Pembrokeshire painters Sarah Jane Brown and Siân Jones is currently at the Waterfront Gallery on Friday.

The two artists have worked with a degree of collaboration for this show. They became friends whilst studying Fine Art Painting at the West Wales School of the Arts in Carmarthen, where they each attained a first class honours degree last year.

Initially triggered by a casual conversation about pathways, Along the Path is the fruit of their very individual responses to the landscape. The show therefore promises to be cohesive in its subject matter yet disparate in outcomes. Siân was inspired by a footpath running through her garden which had fallen into disuse but had recently been given a new lease of life. Imagining the generations of people who had walked these tracks and the relationship that they enjoyed with nature motivated this new work. The connection with the past is evident in her use of sgraffito and the layers of paint mimicking the passage of time. The work travels between representation and abstraction sometimes using muted colours to give a sense of insecurity and loss.

For Sarah Jane Brown, the starting point was the Pembrokeshire coast path, which she walks regularly as it's close to her home. Although she doesn't use photographs as direct source material, the process of walking with her camera is a way of allowing her to stop and notice the details of things. In the studio these observations are transformed by a use of paint that is sumptuous. The resulting expressive work is loosely representational yet is imbued with a personal sensitivity and atmospheric intimacy.

Siân's way of viewing the landscape is both personal and political. She is very much a 'hands on' gardener and says she is "concerned not just about the future of the environment but also that people are losing their connection with nature". For Siân, Along the Path has both literal and metaphorical connotations in these uncertain times.

In contrast, Sarah Jane has an approach to painting the landscape that is more introspective. "For me it's not about botanical accuracy or convincing colour, but about how being in the landscape makes me feel. It is a hook on which I can hang my emotions for all to see."

The exhibition continues until July 9th.

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