bodies of work

Adders in the grass 2024 forthcoming exhibition October 2023

Oil painting on Dartmoor remotely: an impermanent canvas, like a bird’s nest, a home no bigger than your hand, made of sticks, that blows away at the end of the nesting season. My paintings are my visual diaries, lists of rich undergrowth, peaty soils, and local species in wilder Dartmoor places. Oil brushed into my canvas, the ever- changing seasons of muted light and rich colour. As I paint outdoors the weather is indifferent to my need for comfort and sometimes I flounder in its arms. I am left wondering at species adaptability to natures extremes. High summer, it is too dry, and I am a parched painter, I hear adders in the moorland grass. Deep winter it’s too windy, wet, and cold and the wild ponies have come to snuffle the apple I have stored away in my rucksack pocket, greedily overturning my painting table in their ravenous haste.

Meadow run dry 2022/23 exhibition group show Tremeneer Gallery June 2023

The Violet Oil beetles crawl through the grasses and thousands of Orchids cover the Top Plat field.
There is a footpath in the middle of this rewilded place, a single path of human movement.
Thoughts of a perfect habitat to creature co-existence fill my mind as I strive to paint something beautiful and tragic to share with a viewer.
In the child’s mind of the future they may ask of us why?
The last year I have been painting plein air in a Wild Flower meadow. The meadow is semi marsh land and as the season for flowers has progressed I have kept a record of the flowers and insects that have been a sound scape as I have painted. The Swallows arrived two weeks ago, the Marsh Fritillary, Holly Blues and Orange Tips abound.
Is there an artist who can help to find an answer, tell us what is happening to all the meadow flowers that illustrated W.Keble Martin’s botanical diaries? Through my brushes and canvas, when to pause, what to explore, reflection, solitude with nature, increasingly searching for a way to find balance and harmony.
Is there a little hope?
I feel gratitude for the time spent in the meadow cared for by Bridgit.
An impermanent canvas like a bird’s nest, a home no bigger than your hand, made of sticks that blow away at the end of the nesting season. Paintings of oil, linseed, cloth and wood that also eventually leave no trace of their existence.

Jane Hirst by Kate Reeves-Edwards

Jane Hirst is drawn to little known clutches of wilderness. This series of paintings have been in response to a wildflower meadow owned by her friend Bridgit, a poet who lives in isolation from the modern world. As she has observed this meadow throughout all the seasons of the year, she has found it to be a place of peaceful coexistence for creatures and animals. The frequent changes of wildflowers, the effect of sun or rain, make it into a space of beautiful impermanence. Beginning her process en-plein air, Hirst has known this space intimately. Working with natural materials such as oils and linseed and wood, her paintings become an extension of the natural space. The insects landing on the painted flowers, nourishing themselves on linseed oil. This series of work communicates this fragment of peace and beauty.
By Kate Reeves-Edwards
www.cultural capital arts