Filling in the blanks on the map
21 – 28 November 2013
The collection of works in this exhibition investigates the layers, surfaces and spaces of the natural landscape. Some of the images are clear and easily recognisable, but others are broken-down and abstracted to simple shapes or textures.
The images are developed from initial observational sketches and photographs which are then built upon using a wide range of media. Space is created by breaking down the images and exploring surface and colour. The works are not delicate, and can seem uncontrolled or unfinished, but if you spend time with them, the undulating process of addition and subtraction will become apparent.
This exhibition displays both large scale paintings as well as studies and works on paper. The title is a reference to explorers of the past, who would document their discoveries and observations on maps which eventually covered the entire globe. These paintings represent a similar exploration at different scales; from the micro, when looking through the dirt at fossil layers, to the macro when exploring the elements that make up the natural environment.
The large paintings are shown in the sets in which they were originally painted, but can also be seen as standalone paintings. This plays again plays with the idea of scale of the landscape and questions whether we ever see the whole of the landscape or simply a detail of it.
Matthew Cowpe studied fine art painting at Wimbledon School of Art in 2001 before moving to Nottingham University to complete a BSc in biogeography and ecology at the University of Nottingham. Matthew is currently a museum professional managing international touring exhibitions, producing paintings and illustrations in his free time. Works in this exhibition have previously been displayed in A Public Hanging (New Theatre, Nottingham 2002)