Although it may seem like a particularly niche category, there are actually hundreds of female artists who portray landscapes in an abstracted aesthetic. For a variety of reasons, landscapes have been portrayed in abstract styles for centuries, with female artists however only gaining true recognition for their works in the last century or so.
Therefore, with the upcoming arrival of not one, but two incredibly talented female artists to the gallery it seemed only fitting that we dedicate a blog to the rich history that has led to modern day women, like the two we are about to introduce, to become the successful practitioners they are today. Don’t be fooled by the similarities in the description of these two artists. The category alone is the sole thing that links the two, leaving their varied processes, inspirations and their work itself an incredible juxtaposition of one another - all the more reason for our excitement to exhibit their work in tandem soon!
Kerr Ashmore, our first leading lady, is a British contemporary landscape artist, although her work is collected by dedicated art-lovers all over the world. Based in Middlesbrough, Kerr’s talented works reflect not only the physical landscape, but memory and emotion. Her often large scale work is so emotionally charged the viewer simply cannot help but be drawn into the rich earthy tones. Inspired by land, sea and sky, Kerr often creates work from her own memory, drawing upon her experiences and emotions felt at a particular place until her work not only embodies the location she references, but her own unique point of view.
"Growing up in North Yorkshire, UK, so close to the Moors and the cold North Sea, I was surrounded by beauty and inspiration. I have always been so mesmerized by the ever-changing movement of light and dark that can so drastically change the natural landscape around me and my own emotional response to it."
Comparable to Kerr’s approach to the ever-fluid nature of light, Alma Thomas’ later work sought to represent elements in the beauty of landscape that were often overlooked in the grand scheme. Focusing on minuscule details: singular leaves on a tree, for example. Her work was compared to the pointillist techniques of Georges Seurat and Byzantine mosaics, but Thomas was predominantly a colourist. Constantly exploring the changing colours in nature as light manipulates the landscape, Thomas created work that, although comparable to some artists’ work and movements, became a distinct practice all her own.
Red Sunset, Old Pond Concerto poses a beautiful comparison between the two womens’ practices. The emphasis Thomas placed on the sunset as it overtakes the landscape, altering the shades in greenery, striking the darkening water with deep red hues bleeding throughout the piece is not dissimilar to Kerr’s approach to conveying the movement of landscape. Her work, also consisting of a predominantly red palette, suggests layers of depth within the canvas that are immediately understood as movement, or a fleeting moment in time as the landscape shifts.
In keeping with the keen focus on movement of a landscape, we introduce Claire Wiltsher who’s work will premiere at the gallery later this year. Born in Wales, Claire now resides in Lyndhurst, in the New Forest. ‘Forever inspired’ by the constant change in the scenery that surrounds her. In contrast to Kerr’s work, Claire considers the emotions of the landscape itself; what the weather or surroundings say about nature’s feeling at that moment.
Working mostly on square canvases, Claire seeks to achieve balance in her work, which is often presented along with poems for each piece to better convey thoughts and conversations the artist wishes to put forward to the viewer. Claire’s ambitious yet structured recreations of the world around her more closely resembles that of a figurative landscape, in that her colour palette is true to the blues of the sea and sky she portrays. However, Claire’s work remains somewhat abstracted. The artist strongly believes “Total recognition inhibits imagination” and creates her work in such a way that she may convey her interpretation of the landscape’s emotion to her viewer, but ensures the viewer’s opportunity to interpret the piece in their own way.
These names are by no means the only notable female artists of this genre. Historically, female artists such as Grandma Moses, Georgia O'Keeffe, Elaine de Kooning and, of course, many more have paved the way for modern day female landscape artists. It’s thanks to the talented women like these that we live in an era more open to regarding female artists, and can only look forward to how artists like Kerr Ashmore and Claire Wiltsher inspire the next generation of female artists.
Subscribe to our newsletter for more art insights like this, gallery news and much more.
Share on your Socials: