Venetia Norris presents Linear Collections inspired by the gardens at Fenton House

By Ruth Hazard | 09 April 2012
A line drawing of flowers
© Venetia Norris
Exhibition: Venetia Norris, Linear Collections: Drawings Inspired by Fenton House, Fenton House, London, until July 1 2012

Venetia Norris may be part of the modern London art scene is, but her latest project is a series of drawings inspired by the gardens surrounding the historic Fenton House.

A line drawing of a rose flower
© Venetia Norris
Norris enjoys exploring ideas of tradition versus those of modernity. Her passion for drawing directly from life allows her to present a detailed snapshot of the organic world as she gives a traditional subject a fresh perspective.

Although the exhibition centres mostly on flowers and plants, the artist finds their shape and form more captivating than the subjects themselves.

Rather than focusing on single blooms, she has been studying arrangements of flowers and considering the way these are used within Fenton house to be able to place her drawings in the a meaningful context.

Flower depictions have a long association as a female art form, with artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Dame Elizabeth Blackadder pursuing and developing this practice in recent years.

A line drawing of plants
© Venetia Norris
Norris has followed in their footsteps. Her detailed studies focus on the intricate forms in nature, analysing their structures in an interesting new way.

By accentuating tonal contrasts, Norris has created a series of dramatic images, making use of a restricted colour palette to explore the effect created by variations in line.

She has also taken inspiration from early Dutch still life paintings, drawing on the impressive and theatrical quality of the genre while contrasting it with a sense of delicacy.

  • Open: Wednesdays-Sundays 11am-5pm. Admission £6.50/£3 (family ticket £16).
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