Colour & Light in Oil Painting

Over Easter an exhibition, exploring the terrain of Azerbaijan, “the land of fire,” brought to fruition a seven-year project by our Head of Art, Mr Twohig.

This was held for one week’s duration at Q Gallery, the leading centre for visual art in Azerbaijan, next to the iconic Maiden Tower, in Baku. Our Head of Art worked out of his comfort zone, braving temperatures well beyond the English climate, working plein-air. This was Mr Twohig’s third solo exhibition in Baku within two years. More information can be found here:

Gallery opening – review

Azernews – article

Q Gallery

Mr Twohig’s one-metre square canvases are layered with thick oil brushstrokes that are irresistible to the eye and demand to be stroked and closely examined. They are as wet as wet can be, and as thick as thick can be. This manipulation of not only mark making, but also texture shows an innate love of the medium of oil paint and all of its attributes. These bold and dashing brushstrokes reach across the picture plane, reflecting a landscape that stretches beyond the limits of the canvas. Yet, like in his etchings, in sections of the paintings, Mr Twohig has courageously employed unworked areas of canvas that hugely profit the atmospheric impression of his paintings. However, very unlike his etching, he uses spirited colours. The harmonious application of a warm purple next to a soft lemon yellow and other hot colours (that do not mud together but stay surprisingly pure), transport the viewer into the sweltering climate they are created in. The rainbow of drips that streak down the canvas are relics of the sizzling white spirit that evaporated into the air due to the 45º+c temperatures in summer.

The fearlessness of these works is only achieved by Mr Twohig’s total engrossment, enthusiasm and passion for the culture and landscape whilst exploring Azerbaijan, mirrored across this series of oil paintings that he created over a sustained period of time.

By Jess Reeve (NC L6)

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