A star-like object moves in the dark space of the Blue Gallery whilst in the Garden Annexe, the sky has shattered into a cairn of shards. Patricia Townsend is an artist working with the moving image, photography and installation. Her work explores our relationship with landscape – the ways in which landscape can affect us emotionally and the stories we construct by projecting our own beliefs, expectations and desires onto our surroundings.
Townsend has shown her work regularly over the last 20 years in both solo and group exhibitions. In recent years she has moved from a predominantly photographic practice towards work with the moving image, including installations. ‘Black Sun’ is her first 4K (Ultra-High Definition) video.
‘Black Sun’ shows a planet-like object slowly moving towards and away from the viewer, subtly changing as it does so. It calls for particular viewing conditions to appreciate the very slow and strange changes in the image. ‘The Transience of Wonder’ is an installation of 50 ‘shards of sky’ created by mounting narrow sections of photographs of the sky under thick perspex. They will be suspended in a floating cairn in the Garden Annexe at Brantwood. A prototype was shown at the Slade in 2017.
Howard Hull, Director of Brantwood, sums up the aims of the exhibition: “I am delighted to welcome Patricia Townsend back to Brantwood. Although her two installations transcend literal interpretation, the timing of the exhibition is significant. They will focus our audiences on the power of light and dark at the time of the winter, and provide cogent symbolism to usher-in a year-long celebration of the birth of John Ruskin. Ruskin’s life was marked by an extraordinary clarity of vision and a deeply troubled soul, reflected in his ecstatic love of skies and his deep depression at signs of man-made climate change. Patricia’s work is powerful and invites contemplation. Being able to host contemporary work of the highest quality in a historic setting allows Brantwood to bridge the space between works which were contemporary when Ruskin hung them on the wall and the work of artists today. ‘To-Day’ was Ruskin’s motto.”
Patricia Townsend works with the moving image, photography and installation. She is interested in our relationship with landscape and the ways in which landscape can affect us emotionally. She has exhibited her artwork nationally and internationally in solo exhibitions, group shows and video screenings. Other recent work includes a series of moving image pieces related to Morecambe Bay. One of these, Under the Skin, was shown at Brantwood in 2013 with the support of an Arts Council award.
Patricia completed a PhD at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in 2018. Her book ‘Creative States of Mind: Psychoanalysis and the Artist’s Process’ will be published by Routledge in 2019. For more information and to see more of Patricia’s work, please visit www.patriciatownsend.net
‘Black Sun, Blue Light’ is on display in the Blue Gallery & Annexe at Brantwood, open Wed-Sun 10.30am – 4.00pm. Admission is included in the house ticket. For further information please contact Brantwood, Coniston, LA21 8AD, Cumbria. T: 015394 41396. www.brantwood.org.uk