Daniel Ablitt is a great observer of landscape; he does not set out to record a likeness of a particular location but he seeks to engage with the profound effect it has on us as human beings. His paintings depict partly-imagined places and half-remembered landscapes captured mostly from his travel experiences and childhood. These memories are pieced together with other fragments of influence that have been absorbed through film and literature, combining to express and explore his personal mythology. The work has a haunting sense of familiarity presenting the viewer with a symbolic and dreamlike imagery, perhaps a landscape feature that has settled onto our human collective consciousness such as a secluded lake, forest or mountain.
Daniel Ablitt's use of light brush work brings out tiny details, such as glowing lights or blossoming flowers, in contrast to larger areas of washed out, inky mark-making, even staining the canvases which adds to the dream-like quality. Like a dream, the landscapes in them seem to recede into a mist or glow, with no particular beginning or end-point. They are full of detail but never over-worked or sentimentalised. Often a human figure or two is visible, placed at one corner or centrally, so as to enhance the sensation of scale, prompting the viewer to think of the smallness of our place in the world or conveying a child-like wonder at places not yet explored. These distant tiny figures are at once a glimpse of an intimate moment or exchange that we are not a part of and an invitation to a world of new and imagined possibilities. In other paintings, boats are seen in the distance, lit with tiny lights from starlight and port-hole lights, leading the viewer to imagine journeys taken or yet to take.