"To the man of imagination, Nature is imagination itself" William Blake
Lucie Winterson is a modern day nature mystic who locates her paintings within a profound tradition which began with cave paintings and primitive land art. What is Man’s relationship to Nature, especially in the shadow of climate change, she asks, and is Imagination a part of the organic world or is it artifice, the veil which separates us from other living beings?
The paintings from her latest series ‘Nature is Imagination’, which are featured in London Art, have a mysterious, meditative quality which immerse the viewer in a haze of mythical aquamarines, subterranean greens and darkening shadows. Are we staring into an underwater world, watching dawn break over a misty field or stumbling through a rainstorm?
Winterson’s innovative technique, which involves working over the surface of giclee print photographs with pure pigment, sand and acrylic paint, reflects her interest to work with nature rather than simply capturing it. She applies the paint or pigment with large brushes and mops and then tilts the canvas to move it around. She describes the process thus: “I watch and partially control the bloomings of colour, sedimentations of sand and tide lines that dry at the edge of pools.”
Underlying her practice is a desire to re-evaluate our relationship with the environment.
“Artists and writers are thinking of ways to work with nature, rather than to define, conceptualise or utilise it”, she reflects. “I don't 'paint' so much as facilitate the natural alchemy and movement of the materials as they interact with each other. I like to combine the technological rendering of nature as it appears in photographs, the facilitation of the nature in the materials and my own nature in the looking and doing. At some point this can all be integrated and with an act of imagination, a new image emerges.”
Winterson studied for her BA at Central St Martin's and went on to do an MA at Winchester Art School in Barcelona. She shows regularly at the Flowers East gallery and last year took part in the prestigious Hammerson’s Artist Initiative in the City of London. She also teaches courses in ‘radical watercolour’, landscape and land art at the Mary Ward adult education centre.
by Imogen O'Rorke