Current Exhibitions - ArtSway

Hannah Maybank
19 April - 15 June 2008

Preview and Reception for the Artist: Saturday 19 April 2008, 2pm - 5pm

All Welcome: A light buffet lunch will be provided.

Hannah Maybank’s paintings and ink drawings embody an ethereal, contemplative beauty inherent in the natural world. Her work perfectly compliments the rural location of ArtSway, with the New Forest acting as an inspiration for her recent residency which led to this exhibition.

The works created have an otherworldly quality to them, employing recurring motifs of trees, clouds and mountains, for example. The repetition of these motifs across the surfaces of the paintings not only echoes aspects of life, growth and decay, but also the cycle of the process in which the paintings were made.

The paintings begin as a series of overlapping drawings using precise outlines on layers of tracing paper. Using these intricate drawings as templates, Maybank then builds up her images on canvas using latex between layers of acrylic paint. During the final stages much of the latex is removed. Layers of paint are then peeled back, torn and cut into, producing a tactile surface suggesting forms such as a leaf or a tree. These forms become almost three-dimensional objects as the paint is peeled away from the canvas and underlying layers and markings are revealed.

Although she constructs her canvases with an intense attention to detail, it is in the final stages of latex removal that an element of chance determines the outcome of each painting. Colours, however, are carefully chosen to compliment the detailed intricacy of the paintings – creating a final work that features a complex lexicon of textured forms and patterns that appear to float on a shimmering, flat ground. The finished paintings can be appreciated on numerous levels. Starting from a distance the viewer is initially attracted by the almost detached, sparse intricacy of the pieces, but on closer inspection details are unveiled that cause one to think more deeply about the process involved and about our relationship to time and the natural world.

Her ink drawings, however, are quite candid and incredibly bold – echoing the almost reckless ‘tearing’ of the latex from underneath the surface of her canvases – and have a calligraphic quality to them that borrows from Chinese scroll paintings. These drawings, of trees the artist photographed in the New Forest, take on the appearance of large cameos – with large black shapes floating on a white background. The drawings and paintings cannot but perfectly compliment each other: the drawings are the paintings in flux, the paintings are the drawings taken to their natural conclusion.

Hannah Maybank was born in Stafford in 1974 and graduated from the Royal College of Art Painting course in 1999. She was artist in residence at ArtSway in late 2007. Recent exhibitions include: Top Twenty, 39, London, 2007; Hannah Maybank, The New Art Gallery, Walsall, 2005; Hannah Maybank, Queen Street Studios, Belfast, 2004. Hannah Maybank is represented by Gimpel Fils.

Exhibition Related Events:

Gallery Talk: Hannah Maybank in conversation with Peter Bonnell

Saturday 3 May 2008, 3pm

Hannah Maybank will discuss with Peter Bonnell, ArtSway’s Curator, the themes and inspirations behind her new series of paintings and ink drawings. The talk will take place in ArtSway’s galleries, and will also touch upon her recent ArtSway residency, and future plans.

FREE: booking essential.

Publication Launch
Saturday 3 May 2008, 4.30pm

Please join us after the gallery talk for the official launch of a small publication featuring Hannah Maybank’s work in this exhibition and critical text by Katie Pratt.

FREE: booking essential.

Art in Context (Mathematics):

Fibonacci Numbers and the Golden Section: Wednesday 14 May, 2008, 7pm

A lecture at ArtSway with the intention of placing elements of Hannah Maybank’s paintings in a wider context. With Professor Andrew Osbaldestin, Head of Mathematics Department, University of Portsmouth.Mathematical ideas are often present in works of art either explicitly on the part of the artist or implicitly through reflections on the human condition or on the physical world. Conversely, and often in tandem with its utilitarian value, mathematics can be appreciated from an aesthetic viewpoint. Moreover, the actual ‘doing’ of mathematics is often considered to be an emotional experience akin to the production of an artistic artefact. In this illustrated talk we consider the mathematical quantity known as the golden section and discuss its beauty from a mathematical point of view and some of its occurrences in art and nature. We shall also demonstrate how the simple sequence of numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13,..., known as the Fibonaaci numbers, in which each successive term is the sum of the two previous terms, is intimately related to the golden section.

FREE: booking essential.

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