Rendlesham is the culmination of a two-year project, during which the artist has documented the forest and created its portrait. Rendlesham Forest, in Suffolk, was initially planted by the Forestry Commission in the 1920s. Sherman’s first encounter with the forest was during a family outing – photos from that trip sparked a fascination and desire to capture the beauty, and frailty of this forest in an honest way. Many trips followed, each one revealing more possibilities, and strengthening the artists connection with this place.
The paintings, as with previous work, have no people, although the pathways, picnic benches and occasional vehicle are all suggestive of human presence. The pine and spruce trees stand elegant and tall, their soft, undulating foliage often described in an out-of-focus painterly way, contrasting sharply with the awkward, spiky forms of the pines when shown close-up. The paintings convey the calm feel of the forest, but there is also an edginess, which despite, or because of, their beauty and tranquillity, can be unsettling.
Sherman says of her work, “Painting is always a balancing act: to know when to stop before beauty tips over into cliché, or ambiguity becomes sinister. A successful painting maybe exists somewhere on the edge, where you can’t easily define it one way or another.”
Downstairs there will also be a short film ‘Through the Trees‘ by Barney Dunnett, made to accompany the exhibition. Barney is currently studying film studies at Varndean College.
On the two weekends, 5th/6th and 12th/13th November there will be a pop-up shop, selling hard-thrown ceramics by Lucy Ogden. Featuring her trademark beautiful illustrations and continuing the forest theme, this new series of tableware is titled ‘Into the Woods‘.
On Friday 11th November at 6pm, there will be a poetry reading by the internationally renowned visual artist and poet Gary Goodman. Refreshments will be provided.
Exhibition / Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm
Pop-Up Shop / Sat 5th, Sun 6th, Sat 12th & Sun 13th, 11am – 6pm
Poetry Reading / Friday 11th November, 6pm