A dense and threatening cloak of charcoal cloud, heavy with rain, hangs above the narrow band of ploughed fields like an oppressive army. Theses are the flat, open stretches of farmland between Dorset and Hampshire, which conjure the memory of Hardy’s villages. Telegraph poles and wires trace the boundary between earth and sky, infinitely delicate and vulnerable as matchsticks beneath the electric force of nature. However, hope and optimism sit on the horizon, where a pearly crescent of light gleams beyond the threat of storm and destruction. The power of the natural world is conjured in this perceptive work, only to be undercut by its own cyclical nature.
Terry Watts is a London-based artist who was trained at Camberwell and Hammersmith Colleges of Art, and worked at first in landscaping projects. He moved to studying landscape through the medium of photography, and then from drawing to painting. His works are panoramic, combining an enhanced perspectival viewpoint and a frequently low horizon to give a sense of the vastness and sublimity of nature; they are rooted in a realistic topography, but blend features and motifs from separated areas to achieve a more emotionally accurate response to the land. Skies are of great importance in his paintings, as they were in the work of Turner and Constable; the low horizons and unusually deep vistas of clouds or clear skies stimulate the universal tendency to a pantheistic reaction to nature.
He has had solo exhibitions at the Stark Gallery (Canterbury and, later, London); and at galleries in Rochester, Kent; Broadway, Worcestershire; Tunbridge Wells, Kent; Bridport, Dorset; and Southwold, Suffolk; he has participated in many group exhibitions at provincial galleries, and has also shown at the Royal Society of British Artists (elected a member 2006), the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and the Royal Society of Birmingham Artists.
Works by Watts can be found in public, private and corporate collections in Britain, France, the Netherlands and the USA.
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