‘the out-gleaming of an inward soul-gleaming’
I know I open the cutlery-drawer and there
inside are the departures I’ve got
my gloves dirty overflowing
are the thorns the soft waving
pines in the wind these lovely loving
pines are embracing me SNUGGLING UP to me like beasts
so that I cry
Friederike Mayröcker (2000)
Definition of ‘gleam’
a. ’a transient appearance of subdued or partly obscured light’.
b. ’a faint or brief light, especially one reflected from something.’
c. ‘a brief or faint appearance’ (of hope)
d. (as a verb): ‘shine brightly, especially with reflected light.’
We are delighted to present Curtains Drawn, a collection of new paintings by Eleanor May Watson. Eleanor's paintings convey a shift towards looking inwards, of privacy, of shutting out the world, the cold, the dark and being enclosed in a space with the warmth of the evening. Curtains Drawn suggests the act of creating an atmosphere of solace, intimacy and tenderness, but also evokes pulling the curtains open in the morning, allowing for the light of the day to enter, to illuminate and bathe in warmth. We are reminded of episodes of transient light dancing and an intermingling of warm colour and cool contrasts, of brief moments that fade. Curtains Drawn also alludes to the theatrical space of painting, of framing a moment or distilling a memory. Moving towards a more intuitive language of painting, Eleanor plays with fragments, absence, collaging and veils. The artist uses images she has taken at moments of contentment in her life as starting points to explore the layered experience of time.
Eleanor May Watson (b. 1990) based outside Tonbridge, Kent, UK, is a visual artist working primarily in paint and print. Her most recent works frame moments of light; passing across objects within the home or captured in photographs of landscape. Melancholic images are washed in colour and come in and out of focus; creating quiet moments in which to contemplate memory, and longing in image-making. Eleanor recently received an MA from City and Guilds of London Art School (2019). Previously completing The Drawing Year at The Royal Drawing School (2016) and receiving a BA at Wimbledon College of Art (2012). She was winner of the prestigious Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award 2017, the ACS CIty and Guilds Studio Prize and the Slaughterhaus Print Prize 2019. Eleanor's work is included in the University of the Arts London, Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award and Dumfries House Collections.