Gulls by Charlie Baird
Charlie Baird’s new show Here and There which opens at the Art Stable in Child Okeford this week (April 18) and features the bold, hardhitting landscapes for which he is known, is like taking a trip through the artist’s memory bank.
Reflecting on three places that have meant most to him – Scotland, where he was born, Dorset where he lives and Andalucia which he has been visiting since the 70s – the exhibition focuses on his response to memory of time and place.
Each painting begins with the artist evoking a memory, some right back into early childhood.
“There are a couple of paintings of a ferry in a rough sea in Scotland which relate to taking a ferry when I was about six years old. I can still remember feeling sick but also the excitement and stormy weather.”
Hebrides Ferry (below) really needs to be viewed in the flesh to see the wild almost photographic rendering of waves giving the work a sense of heightened reality and a storm perfectly conveyed.
With other paintings Baird wants to summon the mood that accompanies the memory. “I might be trying to catch the light or atmosphere of a day or a walk with a pretty loose reference to the actualities of the landscape, rearranging nature to attain an interesting composition.’
I love the painting Light After Rain which summons exactly that glowing, iridescent light and the feeling of euphoria that comes with it.
In recent years Charlie has become interested in collage and Beach (|Sunset) features a loose, pliable plaster to build up a textured surface.
‘This can lead to some interesting results from ‘accidents’ and give me a way into a subject which may go off in another unanticipated tangent from the original
idea. Painting for me can be allowing oneself to be open to the possibilities along the way at the same time as being focused and disciplined in approach, a kind of balancing act.”
Pictured: Beach (Sunset)
Here and There also reflects a shift in the artist’s colour palette and a new interest in greys, ‘using colour near opposites like viridian and magenta or ultramarine and burnt sienna and taking it from there with a fairy limited palette.”
Pictured below: Handfast Point
Here and There opens at the Art Stable on Saturday 18 April.