The Figure and the Landscape; Two Guest Artists at Chalk

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Two inspiring new artists have joined us as guests this winter at Chalk Gallery; sculptor Susie Hartley and painter Nick Hebditch. Working in different media, and also with very different subject matter to each other, their pieces are bringing a fresh dimension to our collection.

Susie Hartley's figurative sculptures represent and interpret the human form. Her approach is expressive, and the often fragmented figures aim to celebrate the strength and beauty of the female. Through twisting, arching and stretching, her forms express tension and energy capturing movement in clay.

Susie has a classical style and explains that she draws inspiration from ancient fragmented sculptures, using the torso as her main focal point. The simplified forms and flowing lines are made working both from life and from her own intuition.

It is perhaps this use of the intuitive element which gives her work a timeless quality. The flowing lines suggest something that goes beyond our ordinary experience of the human body and elevates the sculptures to a more cerebral and lasting status. At times they possess a godlike presence, reminding us of the classical sculptures that inspired Susie. We are being asked to contemplate not just a body, but an experience of the body in all its grace, strength and inner beauty.

Susie's work is quiet, contemplative and pleasantly intimate.

In contrast to Susie's inner world of the figure, Nick Hebditch's paintings explore the outside world of bracing elements in the external landscape. Despite the obvious difference in their work, it is surprising to find the same highly personal, quiet and contemplative mood present in Nick's paintings.

He explains that his focus is to capture the feeling and emotion of a place, whilst depicting the interplay between light, land, water and sky. His muted and delicate palette do this beautifully. He particularly enjoys subject matter near his home in Tonbridge and the surrounding Medway Valley. Further afield Ashdown Forest, the South Downs and coastal scenery are also favourites.

We can see from the lively brushstrokes employed, that Nick enjoys the possibilities of mark making, surface textures and abstract qualities that are encountered through the act of painting. The result is a highly sensitive response to the landscape, which is as moving and tender as if it were a response to a fellow living being.

What a joy to have these two gifted artists with us this winter and to be able to experience their work in the quiet contemplative space at Chalk Gallery. They will be with us until January 2022, and Nick Hebditch's paintings are also available in our online shop.

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