“I am not at all interested in making a generalised statement about landscape, or light, or people or anything – I’m interested in making a very particular and very informed statement about those things.” ~ Victoria Crowe
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition ‘Beyond Likeness’ is an incredible collection of ‘Crowe’s sympathetically curious, vigorous, painterly portraits’. I could hardly catch my breath as I wandered round, taking in painting after painting where the power of the sitter blended seamlessly with amazing colour palettes and textures.
Further treasures were on offer at The Scottish Gallery, where the exhibition ‘A Certain Light’ showcased Crowe’s landscapes. Again, her combined approach to place, light and palette was absolutely mesmerising.
“What I really want somebody to take away from a portrait is the experience of almost having touched that person. I want to see beyond the immediate physical impact.” ~ Victoria Crowe
I think perhaps my response to her work was heightened by my own exploration of texture, colour and movement as part of my 100 day art project (only seven days to go as I type, by the way!). Over the course of this challenge, I have come to understand how much interest there can be for the artist in creating a piece of art which tells some kind of story beyond the canvas, rather than trying to produce an accurate, photo-realistic representation of something. One example is this image below, which I produced only a few days before seeing the exhibitions.
Victoria Crowe has mastered the visual art of story telling in ways to which I can only aspire. But I know her work will help me in the development of my own.
I found this short film (below), in which Crowe speaks about her approach to painting, absolutely fascinating. I feel changed for the better as a result of even this briefest of encounters with her wisdom, creativity and outlook. What an amazing inspiration she is.
“Somebody once said to me, you know, ‘why do you do portraits? You must enjoy it.’ And I thought, no, it’s not about enjoying it and it’s not about ‘doing portraits’. It’s about meeting another human being in a very intense way.And I find that’s an incredible privilege.”~ Victoria Crowe