I always love a trip to the Lakeside, whether it’s to roam the impressive university grounds or ponder over the exhibitions at The Lakeside or Wallner gallery, it’s usually worth the tram fare. Today I find myself at the Wallner Gallery to look at their newest exhibition; Carole Hawthorne’s recent paintings.
Hung up on the two white walls adjoining the box office to the cafe are twenty works from Hawthorne’s collection. Upon arrival, I am immediately confronted by a vivid, confident pallet – bright neon, tropical colours layered on top of each other, and deep-as-you-get blacks contrasting against piercing sapphire blues. It is clear that the dynamics of colour are the principal factor in Carol Hawthorne's work. She uses contrast, shape and repetition to create striking, eye-catching pieces.
Her delicate control over colour interaction enables every canvas to behave in its own way – each inducing a distinctive mood. There is an overall sense of structure, repetition and use of shape within each piece, yet Hawthorne's line-making has a playful, free-flowing aspect to it that radiates personality. Her style of masking and layering of oils and acrylics gives each piece a different depth and movement.
From afar, the colours and patterns seem to merge into an array of beautiful landscapes, but at a second look I become more aware of the images suggested within the repetitive structures of the dots and lines. It seems Carole is influenced by her surroundings, both natural and manmade, using her techniques of colour rhythms to portray both simple and abstract ideas.
The eye-catching pieces hold a strong presence in the gallery, opening up the small space past the walls into new dimensions of colour and sensory rousing. Hawthorne writes on her website “The intention is that new depths are discovered each time the viewer returns.” And after about an hour spent gazing between the works, I still felt I was meeting them for the first time, each time.
The pieces displayed at the gallery are all available to buy if you should want one of these stunning works hung up in your own home, but whether you're looking to purchase or not, it’s definitely worth a trip down to the Wallner for a gander.
Carole Hawthorne – Recent Paintings is at the Wallner Gallery from Saturday 27 February – Sunday 3 April.
Nottingham Lakeside Arts website