|Dates:||8 September 2023 to 19 September 2023|
|Times:||10am to 5pm daily|
This is Darren and Ross’ seventh joint exhibition at the Pie Factory Gallery in the past 8 years. following previous exhibitions, ‘Sand, Sea and Light’ 2016, In and Out the Sea’ 2017, ‘Thrills and Spills’ 2018, ‘My Sky – His Sea, His Sky – My Sea 2019, ‘Meet us Where the Sky Touches the Sea’ 2020 and ‘Our Ephemeral Coast’ 2021. Three of their past exhibitions were featured on BBC South East News Today.
This new exhibition, ‘A Return to the Sea’, signifies both artists revisiting their passion of Thanet’s coastlines. Both artists had time away from what they enjoy most. Ross spent most of 2022 recovering from injuries sustained due to the physical demands of his pursuit for the ultimate shot. Darren spent a significant period away from the sea as a subject matter, due to absorbing other creative projects.
However, Ross’ rehabilitation from injury and Darren’s focus in other painting interests has allowed both to reflect, re-energise and re-focus their love of the sea. The resulting exhibition displays both Ross and Darren’s previous work juxtaposed with fresh imagery of their chosen locations.
Ross continues to battle the sea’s natural elements intrinsically, to capture his unique imagery. Darren assesses from afar, waiting to capture the light, atmosphere, and mood of chosen coastal locations.
Darren has had previous paintings featured in 3 International Art Magazines; Modern Painters (2000), Paint and Draw (2017, issue 9) and he was the editor’s choice in Leisure Painter (March 2017). Darren has also featured on the front cover of Margate Mercury (Spring issue) 2017 and appeared in articles in Kent Life Magazine (2017) and Isle Magazine (2017 and 2019). Essentially, Darren is a painter from Margate and a painter of Margate. Darren exhibits traditional oil paintings capturing the varied light and atmosphere of Margate Harbour and the surrounding coastlines. Darren uses strong colour to emphasise the beauty of his chosen locations of the coast. Living in Margate, he paints the things he sees around him, the things he knows well and is comfortable with. Darren responds to the coastlines of Thanet through the different seasons, with a focus on the vistas of sand, sea and sky of chosen locations. Darren’s work sits traditionally in seascapes, expressing with a command of colour, the qualities of light and form of his chosen locations. Locality remains critical in his approach to all his work expressing his perception of his surroundings. His skies serve as a dramatic backdrop to his chosen locations, but the sea also plays an equally vital component to his compositions. The sea can often provide stunning reflections to the skies he depicts, particularly Margate Harbour in the Winter seasons. Darren is becoming increasingly known for his depictions of the well documented Margate Harbour sunsets. Having lived by the sea for 51 years, visual coastlines are ingrained in his make-up.
Ross has always been passionate about the sea and spends a vast amount of his free time on the beach and in the sea. Through extreme photography Ross pushes himself physically to capture the life and power of the sea and offers a new view of them, unfamiliar to and unseen by many. He endeavours to bring the sea, the coastline and the sky together from beyond the wave. Awareness, patience and timing are key elements to Ross’ work. Some pieces can take more than two years to plan and with a very small window of opportunity. All of the elements, including the purity of the Sky, positioning of the Sun and ultimately the right type of wave have to all simultaneously come together in a moment captured.
Ross clearly brings perseverance, energy and precision to his art. The results are impressive images of fleeting moments in various scale. Ross also uses the natural environment as his canvas to produce Sand Art of pattern configurations to a monolithic scale using a rake and a stick. Most of Ross’ work is done on a freestyle basis, often with no planning but a visualization of what feels right at the time.
Ross’ work has been showcased on TV on several occasions and has attracted previous national press coverage.