Anima Locus, Jane Ruck-Doyle

It is exciting that Jo Dalgety and Amy Mackinnon are exhibiting their paintings together - even though at first glance their works are very different, particularly in scale and form and use of colour, they share similar philosophical outlooks. 

Jo and Amy both speak of creative processes which evolve from recognisable starting points which have very personal resonances - a familiar landscape or the tactile qualities of an intriguing metal shape. The works are abstract in nature but speak of universal human experience. They hold a sense of ancestral memory - the layers of human existence which subconsciously influence subsequent inhabitants of a place. In their colours and absence of straight lines they have an organic quality suggestive of natural, and even spiritual, processes. 

Both artists have extensive design expertise in contemporary visual media and are skilled in the use of computer technology in order to generate and explore creative concepts. Creative ideas generated in contemporary media often tend to be of the moment and impermanent. Meeting the requirements of briefs, by necessity, entails modification of ideas and compromise. 

In their paintings, Jo and Amy consciously react against these constraints and seek a greater sense of depth and longevity. In choosing to articulate their ideas in paint they follow in a long history of artists - this in itself gives a sense of continuity and evolution. They do not look to tradition or a specific history but instead depict a personal response to shared human experience. Their aim is for their paintings to evoke associations which shift or gradually consolidate over time.

The paintings of both artists start with a non-specific but important underpinning of colour and texture and subsequent layers are influenced by the underlying ones they conceal and reveal, gradually building up to take on ‘a life of their own’. 

Amy uses acrylic paints and pencils on board to create works which have a tactile quality suggestive of sculptural forms and the overlapping curves and twists give a sense of depth beyond the two-dimensions of painting. Some of her works suggest creatures which move and breathe when no-one is looking. 

Jo employs the traditional media of oil paint and watercolour but chooses bright resolutely contemporary colours for the base layers which glow through the overlying strata of more traditional earthy hues - intriguingly this reverses the expected sedimentary layers of landscape where old lies under new. She aims to convey the inner power of the land in both physical and spiritual terms. 

- Jane Ruck-Doyle

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