OOKING INWARDS-KIBBLE PALACE An original framed oil on canvas from my solo exhibition "Breathing Spaces" which took place at the Compass Gallery Glasgow.
"I have a tendency to work in themes, especially when working towards a solo show. I usually have the entire exhibition planned in my head and so my studio becomes full of paintings at various stages of completion. This can be overwhelming at times especially as I work in a home studio - it is hard to find breathing space. Throughout the course of the year i have found myself increasingly attracted to local allotment communities. This is not the most obvious place to think about leisure since these are also places of hard work. But, in the middle of the city where gardens can be in short supply, they allow some insights into the dramatic changes which nature affects. Who knew there were so many shades of green, which necessitated a total change of palette and the purchase of prohibitively expensive oil paint. To complement these studies of nature in its many guises I also explored the architectural splendour of the Kibble Palace in the Botanic Gardens, Glasgow. Outside in the rain, with the early morning diffused light, I peered through the walls of glass panes, seeing the structure reflected and distorted amongst the fish in the pond. Again, whilst looking in, I was drawn to the abstract pattern of leaves pressing against the windows of the Palm House. The theme of leisure continues throughout the exhibition. A busy west end cafe, Epicures of Hyndland, also caught my attention because of its glass walls - this time bringing the outside world in. Whether it was a sunny day with the sun streaming through the windows and bouncing off the outside tables or a quiet wet winter night with the windows steamy, it always seems to be buzzing with regulars. In their own unique ways, these places provide breathing space." Lesley Banks.
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