Island Journeys: An exhibition by Tess Recordon

Island Journeys: An exhibition by Tess Recordon

More than any other landscape, islands capture our imagination.

Shrouded in mystery, remote in location, cut off from land, islands seem cut off from the world. They are places to escape to, to truly get away from it all.  Places where we can experience distinctive cultures and have adventures.  Safe havens that preserve and protect unique flora and exotic wildlife.  Places of wild, extreme, elemental beauty.

This solo exhibition of landscapes paintings are inspired by Tess Recordon’s own Island journeys, both recent and past.

Babylon Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, 12pm to 4pm with free entry. 

Pictured above: Island to Island, 2021. Oil on Canvas, 76 x 106cm.


Meet the artist

Tess Recordon - artist feature banner image website

Tess Recordon is a contemporary landscape artist, living in Cambridge.

Tess studied Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art (now part of the University of the Arts London). There she won the Mercer’s Scholarship and the Principle’s Prize. Since graduating in 1991, Tess has earned her living from painting. Represented by agents in the UK, Middle East, Europe and North America she often works to a large scale for public and designer led commissions in Government offices, Universities and Hospitals and also for the Hotel industry, corporate and private clients.

"The idea for this exhibition came in part after Brexit, when as an island nation we faced difficult questions of identity and country.

And, as a landscape artist more than any other landscape, Islands capture my imagination. Remote in location, islands seem cut off from the world. They are places to escape to, to truly get away from it all. Places where we can experience distinctive cultures and have adventures. Safe havens that preserve and protect unique flora and exotic wildlife. Places of wild, extreme, elemental beauty.

For this exhibition I had intended to take some diverse journeys to other Islands to explore what it means to be an islander. Though the pandemic largely prevented my taking the trips I had planned, I still managed to visit some wonderful Islands including Skye, Raasay, Mull. Ireland and Great Blasket Island and most recently up to the Arctic circle to the Islands around Tromso. This exhibition also includes work from past Island trips including Borneo and Iceland.

Travel forms some of my most vivid memories; my work is an exploration of the recollections from these journeys. I work solely from memory (no sketches or snaps) to re-imagine landscapes I’ve walked in.

My techniques are unusual in that I never use a brush to make marks or lines. Paint is poured from jars and manipulated by tipping the canvas. Layers of colour build up to add depth, a sense of movement and intensity. I constantly explore and push for new effects to capture the soul and essence of a place without the constraints of style. Each painting is therefore unique and specific to a place. 

I love everything about painting, the smell, the sheer physical and messiness of it all. Whether the paint is poured, pigment added, sanded off or re-applied, the artistic process is not hidden from the viewer and can be seen under the final surface.

I like my work to be both tangible but also to leave much to the viewers imagination."

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