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Paint Club East: a talk by Rosie Snell at the Minories Gallery in Colchester

Rosie talked about the physical, and practical aspects of her paintings as well as ideas, and influences, the starting point was the notion of reality as being something that is experienced within our own consciousness’, and not simply something “out there.” Rosie said her work lies within the romantic landscape tradition, and it seems to me that her paintings are landscapes more than anything else, although the thread of war machines, hide, and seek, the uncanny run thorough them, I couldn’t help feeling that they were really a hook with which to hang the landscapes on, this is what makes them so compelling, beautifully composed landscapes with chilling images rendered almost harmless by the refusal to comment, or reveal an emotional reaction. Rosie talked about the importance of drawing before painting, as the notions of scale and placement need to be fully realised, because workings out are not something she wants to be visible, their power is that they are presented as completely formed images, with meticulous, obsessive detail, their scale overwhelms. She left us with some tantalizing imagery from her trip to Greenland, images that referenced Fredrick Casper, and the sublime, and left me really interested in how she will respond to these ready-formed, surreal landscapes.

The questions and observations of the audience made real the very exciting prospect of being for perhaps the first time in my life, in a room full of only painters. I met some painters that I knew and some whose work I have seen, but never met. It was great. It is important to talk to other painters, there is a common experience and language, that allows you to dispense with superfluous niceties, and get right to the good bits.

The idea of having some sort of exchange between Colchester and North Norfolk came up, perhaps artists in conversation or even residencies, studio swaps, and painting in each others landscape, with an exhibition at the Queen of Hungary would be an interesting thing to pursue.

Chloe Mandy