Landscape: Shibu Natesan, Tobit Roche & Mark Shields

6 - 20 March 2020

'Landscape' brings together three well established artists.  Their remit for the show was to produce some landscapes. Each artist has their own perspective:

 

Shibu Natesan (b. 1966) is from Kerala in India. He was trained at the famous Baroda School of Art, where he excelled. Natesan was part of the generation of artists who were swept up in the boom of Indian Contemporary Art.  However, a spell at the Rijkscademie in Holland gave him the discipline to focus on painting, as well as a wider world view.  His work during these years can be characterised as photo realist; very large canvasses of peculiar and odd daily scenes of contemporary Indian life.  These canvasses grew, as did the imagery, and moved away from daily life to more imaginary scenes.  In recent years he has scaled back his work to focus on a truer depiction and now paints outside 'en plein air', with very little work done in the studio and no use of photography.

 

Tobit Roche (b. 1954)has simply a love of mountains, especially the Himalayas.  He paints whilst trekking 'en plein air'.  He carries a homemade pochade paint box which he carries on his shoulder.  This holds small 7 x 9 inch panels which allows him to paint outside and in one sitting, that gives his works a freshness and immediacy.  He also paints from memory in his London studio. Roche describes these works as being about longing and nostalgia, and are based on his own emotional ties to the landscape.

 

Mark Shields' (b. 1963) artistic journey is a long one.  He emerged on the London scene in the 1990's as a virtuosic painter, painting in a precise and smooth manner, with an almost perfect finish. Like the famous painting by Caravaggio of a bread basket hovering on the edge of the table, Mark painted portraits, still lives with the control of an Old Master.  They started off small and they gradually got larger.  However, with time, the limitations and rigours of such a precise manner weighed on him.  Gradually freeing up the brush he has moved away from the precise, to the free. This journey has involved an almost shamanic investigation of himself and his art.  The process and amount of time he spends on the works hasn't changed, in fact these current works take longer.