I have just finished hanging the Sandy Murphy exhibition which opens this Sunday. This is my forty-fourth exhibition. There are forty-four paintings . . . and now this is strange . . . I've been finding it hard to leave at the end of the day. I've been loitering in my own gallery, looking at each painting and then the exhibition as a whole, because it feels so peaceful.
This exhibition continues for six weeks, so please excuse me because I know I will repeat myself. Each exhibition transforms this space, it feels new every time. The gallery already has quite a resonance. It's over two hundred years old, with each stone that makes the building still and strong being visible to the eye. When the paintings are added, in hopefully the right balance of light and dark and beauty and strength, something can happen to the space as a whole. And this is the most I have felt it.
It feels very peaceful and uplifting. Sandy Murphy's work has been described in many ways, but for me it is about the rare ability to capture and express the intangible tones in nature. He manages to mix pigment on a palette, and then paint onto flat canvases, the tones and shades that are all around us, between the lines and surfaces of the natural world. Alchemy - he turns paint into a beauty that is usually fleeting. I don't even thinks he's aware of it, it comes naturally to him.
And when I observe one of his paintings, I feel like I have been unexpectedly surrounded by one of those fleeting moments in nature when a scene you might see everyday is suddenly beautiful and uplifting. And this is because the light and tone has created a beauty which opens up your eyes. A fleeting moment of which you are part of.
I am really looking forward to seeing the reactions this Sunday to such a beautiful collection of paintings. Perhaps it's just how I feel, but I don't think so.
Thanks for reading!