The current exhibition at Rook Lane – Myrtle Pizzey and Brian Dix: Reflecting – is a large body of work by two contrasting artists. Myrtle is inspired by Somerset landscapes and practises relief print making – creating linocuts and prints depicting beautiful rural scenes.
A Myrtle Pizzey still life – Jim’s Rhyne:
Brian, however, is concerned with process and allowing an art work to unravel into an abstract piece – without forethought or intention. He has a palette of colours which can be traced through his works, but the painting dictates to him which colour should run alongside another – rather than simply following a pattern or emulating an object or a scene.
Brian Dix’s abstract pieces:
Brian told me this morning that people tend to buy still life over abstract art as they are less in fear of that which they know and recognise. I find that very interesting because, personally, I’m a fan of the abstract. I appreciate the skill and varying techniques employed by each of the artists but particularly enjoy conjuring my own narrative to accompany Brian’s colourful abstract work.
Perhaps this fear is not just restricted to the visual arts – commercial music tends to consist of songs that don’t necessarily challenge the listener – with catchy lyrics and predictable rhythms. Similarly, poetry may be considered the abstract of the literary world – a less clear structure, often, than a novel. And with greater use of simile and metaphor.
We’re often inclined to opt for safety and familiarity but I think it’s important to embrace the unknown – rather than to fear it.