As I walk down Tarrant Street in Arundel there is a noticeable sense of excitement in the air. An artist unloads her art from a Land Rover beneath the fluttering pennants which decorate the street.
An artist unloads her art from a Land Rover beneath the fluttering pennants which decorate the street. I arrive at the familiar steps of no. 54 with its weathered iron railings to be greeted by the artist Andy Waite.
After four weeks of preparations Andy Waite’s home has once again been transformed into an art gallery as part of the 2018 Arundel Gallery Trail which is celebrating its 30th year. His exhibition is titled ‘Eternity & the Breath of Sparrows’. The title reflects the importance Andy places in observing even the tiniest sparrow’s breath in the ongoing enormity of the world.
He explains how his paintings describe moments in time and his emotional and spiritual engagement with the landscape. The themes of time and place are apparent in his work. In the process of painting these canvases take on a life of their own. Andy says “My landscape paintings are a vehicle for expressing the light and dark of life. The days where the light changes rapidly, a storm comes in, those are the days which excite me.
The paintings are layered. I take photos and make rapid sketches in the landscape and then return to the studio to paint. It’s very spontaneous and the painting evolves as I’m doing it. I do want to be surprised and excited by it at the end. I’m delighted if it changes”
My eye is drawn to a large canvas. ‘For the Passing of Days’ is a breath-taking landscape which provides a new impetus to the English Romantic tradition. I talk to Andy about how blessings are to be found in the present moment and ask him whether he identifies with the generous discipline of shutting out the white noise of life to be truly present in a particular moment. He acknowledges that he experiences this through his painting. He responds “Yes, this painting is about pausing to notice the passing of time as we scurry about in our busy lives, an honouring of each and every day – the glowing glory in it.”
Andy describes himself as an occasional poet but the poet is at play in all his work whether that be in his oil paintings, their titles, or his writing. Certainly as an artist he returns again and again to the poetry of the English landscape allowing us to glimpse something beyond our immediate perception of the world we live in.
The exhibition also includes work by the photographer Maria-Aurelia Riese and ceramicist Jenny Murrell.
The Arundel Gallery Trail is a broad-church with leading artists like Andy Waite, Josse Davis and Chris Mitton exhibiting next to lesser known and aspiring artists on the trail. For more information and to download your 2018 Arundel Gallery Trail guide go to www.arundelgallerytrail.co.uk. Andy Waite’s ‘Eternity & the Breath of Sparrows’ exhibition runs at 54 Tarrant Street, Arundel, BN18 9DN until Bank Holiday Monday 27th August. For more information visit www.andywaite.net.
I hope to see you there!