Opening Event: Wednesday 4 April, 6–8pm
Exhibition runs: Thu 5 – Sun 15 Apr 2018
GARDEN MAKING presents new paintings and ceramic objects by Douglas Schofield. With an acute focus on gardens and gardening, Schofield investigates the curious relationship between humans and the natural world.
Douglas Schofield’s current practice explores themes of contemporary Nature through a focused investigation of gardens. Gardening is a niche mode of engagement with the natural world that highlights curious Nature/human relationships. It’s a very considered practice to cultivate Nature in this way, composing spaces outside and introducing plants into interiors. These are continued practices which have frequent resurges in popularity. Schofield believes this indicates a deeply rooted draw towards things of Nature, particularly plant life . Both indoor and outdoor garden spaces are referred to, each following their own direction of artistic enquiry.
An active gardening practice along with a childhood growing up amongst a large rambling garden informs his making. Plein air painting is used by Schofield as a means for learning a space and atmosphere. These fieldwork watercolours are not referred to in the studio, rather the memory of painting them and the attention payed to the subject is drawn from. The paintings and ceramic objects are abstract representations of specific garden spaces, but more accurately they are felt responses to time spent in them. They act as apertures out to ambiguous imagined vistas as much as they are materialised garden-vibes. Ceramic sculptures are considered to be expanded painting, mirroring individual marks and strokes from the abstract paintings. They also exist as objects, artefacts, and energies collected from the garden and transplanted inside. Colourful multi-plate etchings form a separate body of work, rendering indoor plants in a more realistic style. The plants in these etchings occupy an uncertain, non-specific outdoor/indoor environment, and allude to interior decorative motifs.
The work is not a portal through which to look nostalgically back, nor is it a philosophical proposition of what the future holds. Rather they endeavour to be a means for experiencing the now. The feeling evoked is positive and celebratory, and is an atmosphere of the organic in which the audience can consider contemporary definitions for, representations of, and modes of engagement with Nature.