ARTWORKS: Alfie Carpenter connects to Suffolk landscapes in lockdown

In the space of a few months, our world has seemingly shifted and changed from what we know. Projects and exhibitions postponed, most notably for me the exhibition at The Mall Galleries in London as part of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, for which I had three works selected. However, one thing that remains a steady presence is our surrounding landscapes, and now, more than ever, our green spaces have become even more precious to us.

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There is always tomorrow

Over the last six months I have connected to the Suffolk landscape with a greater depth than ever before. During my daily exercise, I felt compelled to soak up every inch of the outdoors, knowing that I’d have to retreat to the safety of my house after an hour or so. It was in these moments that I created little collage paintings inspired by these mini outings, taking particular influence from the blossoms and blooming flowers which seemed to be compensating for the dreary state of the world by glowing with extra colour.

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Blossom II

The dreamy mid-summer skies and wildflowers also became a focal point in my work – a consequence of lazy evening cycle rides around the fields surrounding my village. Art, as always, became a means of wellbeing, and enabled me to gain a sense of purpose, understanding, and calm in these turbulent times.

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Wheat field, wildflowers II

Great joy was felt when it was announced that Paint Out Norfolk would be taking place in July. I leapt at the chance to have a project to work on, to immerse myself in the beautiful scenery of East Anglia and to work alongside 50 other artists in a safe and enjoyable way.

Over eight days, I took myself around the county, absorbing the landscapes and relishing the opportunity to exhibit the artworks created each day. I visited the Broads, the marshes, the inner city green spaces, the woodlands and the varied and atmospheric coastlines which I love so much. Using my mixed media collage technique, I felt so lucky and privileged to be able to work in these places and I was delighted to win a judges commendation for my piece ‘Summer through the trees’, painted at Wells-next-the-Sea.

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Summer through the trees

The summer started to retreat so quickly and the swallows stopped screeching, but I kept on painting. Working with mixed media collage, I have built up a new collection of landscapes which I will be exhibiting at The Quay Gallery at Snape Maltings from 15 – 21 October 2020. The exhibition, entitled The Tide of all Things, is an exploration into change, growth and the strength of life in flux – the ebb and flow of waters; the currents of the sky; the cyclical lifespan of crops and industrial rural terrain; the rise and fall of day and night, light and dark.

Landscapes have always been precious to me, and this year has reminded me just how valuable they are.

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Orford Quay

The Tide of all Things, Quay Gallery at Snape Maltings, 15 – 21 October 2020

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Snape Maltings https://snapemaltings.co.uk/whats-on/type/exhibitions/
Paint Out Norfolk – https://www.paintout.org/gallery/paint-out-norfolk-2020/
Mall Galleries – https://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/royal-institute-painters-water-colours-208th-exhibition (The painting ‘Orford Quay‘ is one of the selected pieces)