I was wrong! The whole exhibition was fantastic (including, I think, that selfsame print) and, if it weren't for the fact that I'm not entirely master of my own time when I travel south, I might just have spent the day there. And quite likely the next, too. I'm not sure that it would have helped me understand the work any better - perhaps a slow, steady week of visits, taking on just a few pieces a day? That might help me to get to grips with them. Might. They scatter my thoughts, somehow. So instead I just immersed myself in colour and shape and line and image, and felt all excitable and overwhelmed.
I'm not sure where I first found out about Jeremy Gardiner - possibly an email from the Pallant House bookshop promoting one of his books, though I'm not sure where I first found out about Pallant House, either. Some exhibition that sounded good but that I would never go to see? Whatever, his work immediately appealed. It involves a strong sense of place (the Dorset coast), geology, print, colour, all the sorts of things that get me going. And a sense of a mythology drawn from the landscape, I suppose (I'm still working my way through this idea, but although at the moment the whole theory is terribly vague, it has (in my mind) all to do with an intense reaction to a place, probably layering it with more (undefined) meaning than anyone could justify. I'll be able to present it more clearly if I ever work out what the hell I'm going on about).
When I first went into the gallery, I was slightly phased by all the paintings (and fossils) on layered wood structures - I suppose I'd just remembered print and half forgotten the rest. At first they weren't landscapes as I would recognize them - though watching a video, where the artist plonked one of his slabs in front of a view and pointed out Old Harry and other chalk stacks off the coast, really helped me make more sense of them - but I discovered (as you do, duh) that standing back from them made an enormous difference. Suddenly there was the coastline, the sea, there were fields and landmarks. Trouble is, you really want to study them in detail too, and it's surprisingly easy to forget to step back to, as you might say, see the woods for the trees.
Wonderful man, he allows visitors to take photos of his work. So I did. Lots. Here are a scant few.