Therese Urbanska - Journey
26/03 - 07/05/17
Therese Urbanska’s paintings resonate with her love for the landscape that surrounds her, especially her home in Rhyd-y-Clafdy and the Llŷn Peninsula. In this striking new collection of paintings she concentrates on the simplicity of line and colour, from observing shapes of familiar foliage or trees, to the ever-changing weather and light.
The exhibition represents different types of journeys for Urbanska. As a keen runner, she has a real physical connection to the land as she pounds the leafy back roads and lanes on her early morning runs. Born and brought up in the area the works also documents her emotional connection to places in her beloved ‘square mile’ creating a visual journey around the peninsula. The changing styles utilised by Urbanska in her paintings also represent a personal journey as she deftly moves from portraying familiar features, deploying recurring motifs from solitary buildings to plant and bird-life, to exploring the beauty and mystique of Llŷn’s many coves and beaches in assured abstracts, vibrant with colour and atmosphere.
Her familiarity with the area gives her freedom to explore the individual elements that are important to her, not only as they portray the unique atmosphere of this special part of Wales but they also connect Urbanska to the land, to the place that is part of her. Even though Human presence is scantly illustrated; it is here in the hand of the artist as she connects, at one with the landscape.
Stylistic portrayals with their ethereal trees, solitary buildings, tangled undergrowth and birds in flight derive from this intimate knowledge. She takes notice and magnifies everyday things, familiar things from her early morning runs – the sycamore keys scattered by the wind; the abundance of cow parsley flower umbrellas filling the hedgerows from Spring to Summer; the feathery uniformity of fern fronds; swallows catching the breeze; blackbirds scratching for food and the leaping hare with Llŷn still a stronghold for this wonderful creature.
There are buildings that at first glance appear solitary or lonely, but as those familiar to the area know, these are an integral part of the landscape, dotted around the Llŷn landscape and encountered like old friends rather than strange foes. Trees and woodland areas are familiar but take on an unfamiliar hue on moonlit nights or with exaggerated circular painted motifs, suggesting a light shower of rain but also creating a mystical ambience. The moon plays an important part in this rich tapestry, especially the recent brilliant super moons, the artist fascinated by how their light would blanket the countryside with an otherworldly hue, quieting everything, illuminating and changing the pace and atmosphere of familiar surroundings.
Creating an atmospheric quality is very much at the heart of the beautiful range of coastal landscapes. Having grown up in the area these are as familiar to Urbanska as the back of her hand and gives her the freedom to paint from instinct, capturing the essence of coves, beaches, headlands and sweeping skies of ever-changing light through deft brush-strokes, encapsulating the magical quality of the landscape and sense of place that is at the heart of her work.
Stepping into the gallery and gazing around the stunning collection envelopes the viewer with a feeling of calm; imbued with the lustrous light and easy warmth emanating from Urbanska’s familiarity and love of her subject, and her skill and touch as an artist. Through the consistency of her colour palette she creates a particular mood but each one of Urbanska’s paintings shines like a jewel in its own right. Enjoy this treasure trove!
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