Clare Scott’s new exhibition – Down by the Sea at T-Bay Surf Centre on the beach in Tramore is a must see in this exquisite architectural location where the sting of the light and the tang of the sea are like companions to wonderful images.
There is a wonderful American sense of Big Sur comes to Big Strand, and images from the artists last solo show Road Trip, especially Denny’s Diner come to mind. Here is a private artist, making sense of her inner world, by making images and sense of a bigger world or canvas. In Down by the Sea, there is a great sense of freedom despite fears about repetitive strain that could blight an artist’s career.
At one stage I wanted to preview the work in the studio but Clare Scott was aghast as she sees the work as being site-specific and I have to agree that the Surf Centre works so well as these painting are in and about this gem of a structure.
Many small images catch the mood, like coffee cups, Budweiser cans and discarded dolls’ heads but it is in the curvature in the work that mirrors the curvature and glass, airy structure of the place.
Viewing the work shortly before it opened the Centre seemed private and tranquil, yet outside the surf was up and pounding.
Nubile people at backs of cars or vans were wriggling into wetsuits or struggling out of them. Up the curved circular metal staircase there is a sense of the light – the bright light like in a Californian painting.
In the work there is that wide open sense of freedom and adventure in paintings that seem almost bleached out with an intensity of style and skill as the artist hones back the detail to expose the essential image.
Many of the studies are looking inward and outward as Scott suggests that nebulous sense of the end of summer, the end of the season yet there is no nostalgia just a freshness of vision.
Upstairs in the curved and glass framed veranda of brown and yellow furniture there is a brilliant sense of the artist looking in and out and at the same time exploring what goes on in the mind of artists, surfers, pleasure seekers. The work is, of course, more than a surf place beside the sea and while I was there you could see and feel the light, the sea, the space and the inner world of the artist and the paintings. The ever changing moods of an end of summer party in a special place among special people.
Go and see it all, as the show runs until the end of September. I look forward to the day this show comes to a white walled gallery like SOMA and I would expect to see and feel the fresh tang in the air and the tranquillity of a wide blue yonder.