Phil Whiting 'In Memory of the Forest'

 With new paintings by Peter Kettle

17th-31st January


Peter Kettle



Phil Whiting

'Children of the Forest'

Sarah Wiseman Gallery is thrilled to present an exhibition by landscape and history painter Phil Whiting and emerging landscape artist Peter Kettle. Both artists create evocative, atmospheric landscapes which ask the viewer to contemplate the land as an emotional place. 
Recently relocated to Oxford, Phil has been working on a new series of paintings that examine both the forests that are a part of real landscape, and the forests of our imagination and myth. 

Phil Whiting’s work is primarily concerned with observing landscapes that are somehow imbued with historical events and our understanding of these areas of land with this retrospective knowledge. 
In this new series of paintings, Phil Whiting explores the subject of the forest as being both a physical place and a psychological space. Forests are often a setting for fairy stories, or are places filled with mystery and foreboding.
‘These paintings were mostly inspired by my travels through the forests of Europe. Some titles suggest exodus, displacement, abandonment, or loss. Yet other paintings were inspired by forest journeys made closer to home - Wytham Woods or woods by the Ridgeway, for example. For me the forest has many meanings. It is a place of great poetry and metaphor, and yet continues as it did to that little boy all those years ago to both haunt and tantalise me. I can only hope that these paintings will help you sense some of this too.’

Phil Whiting has exhibited extensively around the UK and Europe and his work is held in the collections of the Royal Cornwall Museum, New College Oxford, The Stuart House Museum and Truro Cathedral.

Peter Kettle too, is interested in the emotional connection we have with landscape, often working from extensive walks around the UK. He has recently completed a walk from Avonmouth to Bath, sketching and recording all along this historic route.  'The landscapes of Britain are a perpetual spur for my love of painting. Being able to harness the hostility of the wild together with the peace of the water's edge is a duality I strive to capture in my work.'

His paintings are a painstaking process of applying paint, and occaisionally leaving canvases outside, allowing the elements to do their work.

'Often the wind and rain can whip across the canvas creating unpredictable, chaotic and uncontrollable patterns. The inks on the canvas are sometimes dictated by the wind; by how the colours bleed and then dry in the sun. Allowing nature to directly influence the work can create a very free response, ' he explains. 

Peter Kettle has recently become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) and is based in Bristol.


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