Patricia Swannell - Jude Tucker: Marking Time

Patricia Swannell - Jude Tucker: Marking Time

9 February - 5 March 2011

Jude Tucker, Patricia Swannel

jaggedart is delighted to present a second collaboration between the artists Patricia Swannell and Jude Tucker. Following their beautiful installation in the gallery in 2007, Flowers from an unknown tree, Tucker and Swannell once again join forces for a unique exhibition, Marking Time.

Perhaps the greatest challenge of the 21st Century is finding a sustainable relationship with the natural world. Living in a 24/7 urban society where so many of our experiences are filtered through digital media in an artificially lit and heated environment, an understanding of, and respect for, the natural world must be actively sought.

Marking Time is inspired by Books of Hours, Medieval texts that are elaborately illustrated devotional books, popular in the Middle Ages that inspired their readers to direct their attention to an awareness of the rhythms of the days, the season, and the years, providing the template for a contemporary equivalent. Through an intense focus on the natural world, Swannell and Tucker call for both awareness and respect for the cycles on which we depend.

Patricia Swannell's watercolour and pencil paintings follow a sequence based on the offices or prayer times of the Medieval monastery. From the dead of the night, through the daylight hours and back to the night, the eight works convey the sense of the passage of time with the dawning and fading light.

Alongside these paintings are hung a series of black, white and grey acquatint monoprints. Patricia collects willow branches and leaves, ferns and grasses. These natural materials are used on the printing press so that the paper becomes embossed with their shapes and textures.

Since her initial show, Patricia's works have continued to evolve as regards technique and ideas. However the underlying concepts remain true to her ambition of finding fresh ways to focus on the natural world. That interest is present in all her works; they may be prints reflecting on the ephemeral beauty of the leaves, branches and feathers collected in her daily walks in the park or subtle paintings of the changing hours.

Her focus on environmental matters is also reflected in her work, currently under construction, for The Royal Botanic Garden Kew at Wakehurst Place. She has designed a brick and turf maze and a series of small bronzes, which highlight the conservation work of Kew's Millennium Seed Bank for visitors to the gardens.

Jude Tucker's sublime carved stone sculptures echo Swannell's works. Ten pieces made from different stones convey the natural forms of plants and shells through the seasons.

An oversized oak leaf of ancaster lies on the floor, its permanence and weight contrasts the sense of time and seasons passing in the other works. A smoky alabaster is transformed into a shell, its ridges and growth rings shadowing the marks on the stone.

The ephemeral delicacy of her subject is underlined by its translation into an immutable form. Time is halted - a moment preserved - in the sensitively rendered works.

Using a variety of different stones, Jude Tucker presents a series of sometimes intricate works which celebrate natural beauty and form.

Jude Tucker trained at City and Guilds in stone carving. She is the first woman to have been commissioned to carve grotesques for St George's Chapel in Windsor.