Learning French by Anny Evason
Learning French by Anny Evason

How does one convey the experience of relating to the environment: the visual and sensory stimuli, an awareness of its history and essential instability? Four artists find metaphors.

Anny Evason’s approach has a wild, imaginative energy. Her paintings, like the best fairy tales, seduce with a combination of lyricism and violence. The calligraphic outlines of trees concentrate all the history of their growth in a moment of drawing and are luminous with subtle light and energy. Her ‘Learning French’ series, black shapes dancing on wires and inspired by French vines in winter, suggest a picturesque musical score; birds landing precariously, mid-flight; a language you don’t quite understand; the way language might start.

Sally Cole takes on the mountainous: huge abstractions – essence of boulder – are wrenched apart by swathes of energy and time. Her mountains are full of secret, terrifying, unknowable history.  She conveys with her broken, fissured forms an unflinching sense of the huge forces which keep them in permanent, unpredictable motion.  A volcanic eruption is imagined, as if lightning contained within breaks bounds and liquid fire pours forth. Awe and mystery are expressed in the strength and frailty of her marks. For all their fluidity, these works are highly wrought.

Denise Franklin’s meticulously drawn, yet meandering, web-width lines, trace energy through time. When these tracked moments reach myriad proportions they embody the huge forces which form a hillside or towering sea. The same refined balance of the serendipitous and the measured is found in subtle evocations of walking along the beach at Pett Level. Using a clean formality of structure using monochrome tonal strips, she breaks our attachment to the physical, and returns to us that moment of being mesmerised where the visual loses its particularity in the intensity of the moment.

Sarah Palmer’s iconography is drawn from town, sea and landscape, even the political. A boat carries refugees with longed for houses above, the sea and their hopes churning beneath. Her work is by turns serious and playful, but always tender. The solidity of her scaled down, iconic ceramic structures melts within their veils of light and fine washes of colour, the delicate dislocations of her fine, free drawing. This itself is a metaphor for often rehearsed collations and distillations of memory and vision.

The show at Graze runs from 25th July to 3rd September (www.grazeongrand.com) and there is a Graze food and wine pop-up at the idyllic Stables Open Studios in Barley Lane 5th/6th August (01424 814687)