As a nation we are totally obsessed with the weather. Who could blame us when artists like Vikky Furse demonstrate the wonderful array of emotions and feelings that are created in the changing light of the seasons? She has been an artist in residence in the Antarctic, creating artworks from the sketches she makes on icebreaker ships. Furse spends her time exhibiting her paintings in London, as well as running pastel drawing workshops and lecturing. She beautifully captures the aching eternity of old ice in the night time as darkness steals the shadows from the day.
Furse’s paintings stand out for their ability to create flashes of warmth in the aptly named Neptune’s ice field. Hints of crimson and purple blend with warm and sunny blues, which, in turn, contrast with the pastel winter scene. She shows the peace inherent in staring at a horizon. She captures the undoubtedly special calm in a pale sky, tinted with pinks and made fleshy with flickering lights, as darkness falls over a drifting iceberg. A moon watches proceedings, reflecting off the ocean like the pastel heart of an icy sky. An artist is a person who can show the world in a new way and Furse shows the breaking up of the frozen landscape as spring starts to warm the air. In her work springtime is the ending of something beautiful, rather than the beginning.
She paints a maternal Polar Bear, playing as its fur blends into the snowy background. He nose is most visible, a smudgy black shape in a scene comprised of ashen colours. Her close up paintings of cracked ice bring to mind the expressionist painters, or even the detailed work of Monet and the impressionists. Furse is also an accomplished portrait painter, who creates images of subjects with contemplative expressions, captured with heavy outlines and autumnal colours. Furse is a deeply talented artist who richly deserves our artist of the week award. Remember to also view the video interview LondonArt conducted with her back in 2007.