Pippa Blake: Quest is the new exhibition at Chichester’s Candida Stevens Gallery at 12 Northgate, on until June 17, and open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.
Candida said: “Here is a body of work deeply felt and observed. Yearning is a word that resonates with nomadic artist Pippa Blake, and it’s not hard to see why when you view her soulful, touching paintings.
“Her work often lingers in the darkness, as small pools of light appear and illuminate or ignite a curiosity about her chosen subject. Blake is constantly searching as she investigates and explores her vision of the world.
“Quest seems an apt title for her solo show which takes a look at a body of work from the last ten years. Her subjects are inspired by dramatic geographical and man-made features; from gorges and wastelands to figures glimpsed. Her enigmatic paintings evoke a sense of mystery and mood and for her they are “outer expressions of her inner feelings.
“Blake’s work is immensely atmospheric, perhaps melancholic but there is something always exquisite in the moment or scene that she captures – a soulfulness. Her work is able to suspend us in a place where reflection and stillness can happen.
“Many of her pieces are observed from a distance, often on travels – in cars, aboard planes, on walks – the world Blake shares with us is one that is seen to be going on about us but one in which we only watch, peripheral, not disrupting, hidden.
“This is in contrast to the way in which Blake makes her paintings. She comments that she loves the physical process of gestural mark-making. She says that she puts her whole body into it – left to right, up and down – the larger the canvas, the better. For her painting is a very visceral and immersive act and this commitment remains vital to her practice. Music too fuels her creativity and she has a passion for blues, jazz and Bach. Her current obsession, in the studio, is Wagner’s overture to Tannhauser.
“Art has always been part of Blake’s life. Her grandmother and mother were both potters and artists and she was encouraged from an early age to be creative. Her childhood on the shores of Chichester Harbour was spent messing about in boats, walking on the South Downs, and today remain places that fuel her work.”
Candida added: “Pippa is something of a rover and adventurer so it was no surprise when life found her criss-crossing seas and continents, at times living on boats and making other lands her temporary home. In this time, she experienced both deep personal joy and pain, which has sometimes spilled into public life, with the tragic death of her much-admired husband, yachtsman Sir Peter Blake.”