So folks, my first solo show is in three weeks. It's at the Width of Circle gallery a new, artist-led gallery, studio and teaching space in Stourbridge on the furthest western edge of the Birmingham conurbation.
In an old Victorian canal-side factory, housing other makers and a micro-brewery the space has an amazing atmosphere and is still totally un-gentrified. Like much of Stourbridge itself, Width of Circle leans away from slick urbanisation and leans metaphorically towards the lushness and mystery of an imagined and real countryside.
I think Width of Circle takes as it's patron the God Pan, or Cernunnos and certainly the work exhibited in it's inaugural show had elements of the bucolic and mysterious. With the exhibiting of Dominic Shepard's painting The Beast, Width of Circle was nailing it's colours to the mast.
|The Beast, 2017, Oil on Linen, 40x56cm, Dominic Shepherd |
copyright Dominic Shepherd 2018
So it will be interesting to see what the reaction is to my show, Solstice, a collection of drawings made by the wind and part of my 2017 30 Days of Summer project. My work is very spare, very simple, hopefully very quiet, so physically the work will be very different.
However, the impulse to seek out and connect with mystery, the numinous, to find magic in the world, that the gallery is basing it's programme around, is also something I hope that I tap into with my work. Although my work is made outside, in often crazy weather conditions, the works I am exhibiting at Solstice are somehow still and quiet. Well, that is what I am trying to achieve at least. It's like when you go into a church, all soaring columns and vivid glass and yet, in the best churches, there is a sense of deep ineffable stillness.
So, three weeks out from the show, I am still framing work and thinking about the space and feeling, not a deep, ineffable stillness but a somewhat nervous anxiety!
Solstice will be on show at Width of Circle gallery from 21st June 2018 to 21st July 2018.
Opening night Thursday 21st June - all welcome. After that, visits by appointment.