The studio doors are now well and truly open for SAW 2016. The first weekend with its initial wave of visitors has passed and the artists can now relax into the role of welcoming guests to their venues. The first day is always daunting, seeds of doubt can creep in after the exhaustion of getting everything ready, and the question at the back of any artist’s mind is ‘will anyone materialise?’ And for those participating for the first time these questions may ring even louder.
On Sunday I visited Venue 161 to see how Georgina Towler was enjoying her first SAW Open Studios. She explained that she is used to having visitors to her studio at Contains Art, however her door isn’t always ‘open’ when other exhibitions are showing – being a working studio, shutting the door is essential in order to achieve any sustainable output. But for the next few weeks she felt the need to create a different working yet welcoming environment, thoroughly aware that it is the studio in action that people have come to see, not necessarily finished, exhibited works. In response Georgina has boldly transformed two of her studio walls into a working canvas; happy in the knowledge that the work will evolve naturally in her distinct style and yet not hold her due to its temporary nature. Also on display are a selection of her sketch books, canvases in progress alongside finished works that are available to purchase.
Georgina describes her paintings as ‘experienced spaces’ which comment on landscape. The forms and geometric shapes that define her work are not necessarily true to the original prospect observed but play on the memory of line noted within the terrain. It is her clever use of colour that captures and reflects an elemental atmosphere, informing the viewer that they are gazing upon a moorland scene that can be identified specifically as Exmoor. Georgina hopes that once viewed her paintings will inspire onlookers to also spot the geometric planes that she sees.
Visiting and meeting artists in their studios is a great way to beginning to understand their working ethos and technical approach – all are so very different and personal. Georgina commented that having to explain her work and answer inquisitive questions during her first few days of SAW has enabled her to question herself, reflect and underpin her work.
Georgina Towler’s studio can be found at Watchet’s East Quay
Open Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm Venue 161
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WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY by Davina Jelley
GEORGINA TOWLER IMAGE supplied by the artist
Published on September 19, 2016 // Davina Jelley