New Vision Gardens Gallery
Wandering round the Montpellier Gardens in the Cheltenham town centre, I spotted the Gardens Gallery, a small stone building in the centre of the green space. The compact gallery had a minimal interior with white walls and silver hanging wire to display the art work.
The showcase and exhibition was named, ‘New Vision’ and housed an interdisciplinary exhibition of art and photography. What I liked about the gallery was that it gave a platform to three local artists to share their work and increase their recognition - Lisa Lavery, Jane Murray and Emma Yorke.
The artwork mirrored the clean and simple interior; each had a restricted colour palette of subtle shades. Having said this, each piece was dynamic and created a sense of movement. It appeared to focus on the expressive nature of the artistic media chosen. Brush strokes and uneven texture took the works in directions I wouldn’t have expected to see.
The exhibition was intriguing, especially because it was not always clear what the stimuli or inspiration was behind the pieces. It seemed to me that they had taken something realistic and explored the qualities of abstraction to present their own versions and impression of the world around them.
I particularly liked a couple of piece from Lavery whose ‘Distillations’ project presented a range of abstracted sea and landscapes from home and abroad. It was the texture, flow and use of colour in these that caught my eye; the erratic vertical brush strokes created a sheet of water illusion; one that appears to be continuously streaming.
I also enjoyed Yorke’s large minimal canvases that use a range of media to present the physical experience of a place. She effectively manages to convey memories, colour and pathways within the art in subtle and alternative ways. The diverse locations were very evident as although each had a very similar texture and finish, they all presented a differing colour palette and perspective.
The open space and the fact that it was so quiet made walking round enjoyable and easy to step back and view the artwork from a distance. I found that this sometimes brought a new interpretation to what the piece could be presenting and/or a new narrative.