Menier Gallery
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Saturday, November 25, 2017
51 Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU
Wendy Brooke-Smith

Exploration is the central theme of Wendy Brooke-Smith’s third major solo exhibition, entitled New Ground: Discoveries in Landscape, which runs from Tuesday 21st to Saturday 25th November 2017 at The Menier Gallery, Southwark.

Against the current backdrop of political upheaval and uncertainty, the artist finds parallels and connections in the subject matter she has encountered in the past 18 months, from distant mountains to new London landmarks.

All the paintings and drawings explore new territory for the artist, whether from personal travels and walking, or a newly accessible view of her favourite subject, the Thames.  As well as her trademark urban landscapes, this wide-ranging exhibition includes paintings of France, New Zealand and the ancient route of the Ridgeway.

The London paintings bear witness to the chaotic metamorphosis of the city’s jostling skyline.  Yet the ‘iconic’ new arrivals in their turn provide dramatic vantage points from which to reassess our previously familiar surroundings, opening a dialogue of reciprocal panoramas across the Thames.

In contrast to this urban transience, Brooke-Smith’s striking mountainscapes and earthy Ridgeway works remind us of the essential permanence and continuity of the landscape beneath our feet: a reassuring counterbalance to our shrill and shifting times.

Wendy Brooke-Smith summarises this philosophy:  “All landscape can be seen as a metaphor for our ideas and emotions.  As an artist – and an optimist – I recognise the importance of innovation and renewal, while daring to hope that the most important things in life will stand their ground.”

A spirit of discovery has also influenced the artist’s increasingly bold colour palette and looser (mostly acrylic) painting.  Charcoal drawings continue to be integral to her process, both as initial observations and as more developed ideas for paintings in the studio.

Wendy Brooke-Smith graduated from UCS in 2008 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.  She has since exhibited widely and her work is held in private and corporate collections throughout the UK, including Hill Dickinson LLP, UCS, Associated British Ports and most recently three large London landscapes to RBAET, Royal Courts of Justice.