Anthony Yates RBA
Tuesday February 16, 2021
Out of Darkness
Launch Online: Monday 1st March 2021 – 11am
The Exhibition continues until: Saturday 27th March
Across the Mediterranean travelled the heat from Africa, and folded inexorably over Italy. The piazza glittered under the unrelenting sun; swallows skimmed the torpid air. Inside, sitting at a table by the shuttered window, Vicky rifled through the pages of her art magazine, a Lee Krasner abstract catching her eye. I sat on the stepped terrace drinking coffee; someone hailed, ‘buongiorno!’ – I waved and reciprocated the greeting. Glass and crockery chinked from the small café, people enjoying food and drink al fresco, seated under parasols and trees.
In 2018 I was contacted by a London doctor interested in my work and wanted to make a proposal. We met in Chelsea Arts Club and she offered me a chance to stay in an Italian house to experience the sights and atmosphere of a place where she was brought up. This was Montemarcello, high up on a promontory of Liguria. Of course I said ‘yes’, and so, in the summer of 2019, I travelled there with my artist friend Vicky to explore and gather material in our sketchbooks. Much of this exhibition, ‘Out of Darkness’, is made up of work drawn from that trip.
Days were spent walking around the town and local area. We made friends with the locals who imparted much useful knowledge and showed us places we would never have found by ourselves. An abandoned house with an overgrown, parched garden became a favourite spot for us to work undisturbed. There were frequent trips to the beach where we swam to cool off and sketched the activity. We strolled in the twilight and watched jazz musicians in the square. Always we carried sketchbooks, pencils, pastels and watercolours.
‘Out of Darkness’ is a mix of work from home and abroad. Different media are on display from ink, watercolour, print and oil paint. It has work that seems redolent of these strange times we are living through; ‘Arid House’ and ‘Succulent Night’. There are simple domestic scenes, ‘Showering’ and ‘Woman with a jug of flowers’. But above all the exhibition is dominated by the Italian work – a mix of passion, love and colour; its joie de vivre – let us now let the light back into our hearts.
Anthony Yates RBA 2021
Out of Darkness