Mary Ogilvie Art Gallery › Exhibitions 2011

Summer 2011

Photo show: A selection of Rossotti photos from 2010

Hazel, a former tutor of the college, favours traditional black-and-white film but also uses digital colour while Heather works only with the latter.

The photos are from Oxford, Greece, Lanzarote and elsewhere with subjects ranging from ‘pseudo-abstracts’ of reflections, shadows and textures to bits and pieces of architecture, human life, artefacts and the natural world (including Heather’s pictures from wintery mountains). It is hoped that visitors will enjoy wondering which of these varied subjects (if any) they themselves would have taken.

Spring 2011 

Luke Skiffington - En Plein Air

Luke Skiffington's art is made of patterns that are half abstracted from the world. In one kind of work, dense conglomerations of foliage are flattened and rendered in a restricted palette. The paintings have intricate visual rhythm, like organic Bridget Rileys. But they feel moody and expressive too: the paint has been allowed to drip, as though the shapes are bleeding or shedding tears. There is something decorative about them, a hint of an allusion to flock wallpaper. But there is something threatening too. Like camouflage, these canvasses confuse the eye.

In other work, the threat breaks out of the undergrowth. The Constructivists' Wood (2007) is blackened, and traversed by jagged inorganic forms. In Iron Palms (2008), the trees have been abstracted into a violent 3-D geometry, an exploded black-and-white Union Jack, raked by searchlight beams at night.

In the new paintings that form the core of our Spring Show at St Anne's, these contradictory impulses continue to fight and play. The foliage patterns become more frankly artificial. There is more brightness, but also more rigidity, in brick-like compositions such as Wall of Windows. Faces loom, re-combining elements of the sylvan scenes into edgy, graffiti-like marks of personality. An arrangement of branches is tagged with a stencil-shape that seems to float in front of it, at once focussing and obscuring our gaze. In a visual mash-up, pastoral contemplation is jostled by urban energy.

Luke Skiffington studied at Goldsmiths and Chelsea Colleges of Art. He has won the Neville Burston Award for most outstanding young artist and First Prize in the West Midlands Open. He has shown his work in many group and solo exhibitions. 2011 may well be a breakthrough year. Luke won the New Greenham Arts prize, and had a London show, at 125 Old Broad Street, running concurrently with the show at St Anne's