‘’I had the landscape in my arms as I painted it. I had the landscape in my mind, shoulders and wrist’’
An exhibition of new paintings by Selena Mowat that explores the cognitive states of painting using memory and the explorative nature of paint to create imagined contemplative landscapes and ethereal dreamscapes. The work will be accompanied by a musical score written and composed by Selena and award-winning local musician Sarah Cullen made in response to and alongside the paintings. After returning to painting and Donegal after 5 years abroad, this new body of work looks at contemplative states and our relationship with nature and our environment as meditative and healing spaces. It examines the relationship of painting to sound and the effects music can have on both the viewer and creator.
‘’My work stems from traditional elements of portrait and landscape painting, largely focusing on oil-based paints and watercolours, but sits on the edge between realism and abstraction. My focus is on colour, texture & mark-making on the surface and within the layers of paint. My work reflects ideas about communication through the emotion of colour and sound. I like painting to be an escape from reality into other dimensions, thoughts, and memories. I start with an empty page and pour directly onto the surface, letting the picture tell me where it must go, letting the paint dictate the journey it wants to take. I think painting is a form of meditation; there is definitely a different cognitive state that is accessed when I’m painting, a creative state that is informed by memory, feelings and subconscious thoughts. I’m not in control of that. I experiment a lot with the possibilities of paint.’’
Selena Mowat is a Scottish-born artist who currently live in County Donegal. After visiting the county briefly in 2009 she immediately fell in love with its ‘timeless charm and character’, inspired not only by its diverse and captivating terrain, which has attracted so many artists before her, but by its preserved culture and welcoming spirit of the community. A former lecturer in Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone, Dundee University, where she graduated in 2002, Selena has exhibited extensively throughout Scotland, the UK and Europe and was the Irish Winner of Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year broadcast on television in 2013.
Solace runs in Gallery 2 from Thursday, 9 November, until Friday, 22 December.