In June 2018 South West based artist Becky Buchanan spent a month at the artist residency ‘Foundation Obras’ in Estremoz, Portugal. This exhibition is a collection of the bold large scale works that Becky painted during that time, along with subsequent artwork that has been informed by her experience.
Becky is an artist who explores the visual surprises of contrasting textures and forms of mark-making in her artwork – a nod to the everyday contrasts we see in man’s mark on the landscape.
Inspired by the natural environment and local industry in Estremoz – the marble quarries and tree cork harvesting, the paintings are an abstracted perception of living in central Portugal. Although the artist is known for her choice of industrial resin paint in her artwork, the paintings produced in Portugal are in the medium of acrylic, painted on a heavy weight PVC. The exhibition offers an interesting view into how the painterly acrylic works have informed the subsequent resin pieces.
With a strong desire to maintain a freshness and energy in her art, Becky’s working method is one that encourages creative freedom – either by utilising unpredictable media, or by limiting the planning of a painting – instead allowing the piece to evolve, as would a natural conversation. Her methods and experiences resonate with those of Picasso, who stated:
“I don’t know in advance what I am going to put on the canvas, any more that I decide what colours to use. Whilst I work, I take no stock of what I am painting on the canvas. Every time I begin a picture I feel as though I were throwing myself into the void. I never know if I shall land on my feet again”
The exhibition will also include a table set up with paints and paper for visitors to play and engage with the liberating act of making a ‘mess’ with paint.