Art Inspired By The Natural World - Hannah Maybank At ArtSway

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 23 April 2008
a dark painting with tree shapes against a dark brown background

Arcane Seek (Moon Canopy), 2008, acrylic and latex on linen. © Hannah Maybank / Gimpel Fils

Exhibition preview: Hannay Maybank at ArtSway, Hampshire, until June 15 2008.

The ethereal and contemplative paintings and ink drawings of Hannah Maybank, who has drawn inspiration for her current body of work from the beauty to be found in the natural world, are currently showing at ArtSway in the New Forest.

Maybank’s work perfectly compliments the rural location of ArtSway, a unique place in the New Forest, where the local woodland acted as an inspiration during her 2007 ArtSway residency from which this subsequent exhibition has been drawn.

The works created have an otherworldly quality to them, employing recurring motifs of trees, clouds and mountains. The repetition across the surfaces of the paintings are intended to echo aspects of life, growth and decay, and to reference the cycle of the process in which the paintings were made.

an ink painting showing the black outline of a tree against a white background

Sky Oak, 2008, shellac ink on paper. © Hannah Maybank / Gimpel Fils

Beginning as a series of overlapping drawings using precise outlines on layers of tracing paper, Maybank built the images up on canvas using latex between layers of acrylic paint.

During the final stages much of the latex was removed and the layers of paint peeled back, torn and cut into. As the paint was peeled away from the canvas and underlying layers and markings revealed, the paintings took on a three dimensional quality. The result is a series of tactile surfaces suggesting forms such as a leaf or a tree.

The finished paintings can be appreciated on numerous levels. Starting from a distance the viewer is initially attracted by the detached, sparse intricacy of the pieces, but on closer inspection details are unveiled that cause the viewer to think more deeply about the process involved and about our relationship to time and the natural world.

a painting of tree shapes against a dark brown background

Mirrored Oaks, 2008, acrylic and latex on canvas. © Hannah Maybank / Gimpel Fils

Accompanying the paintings are a series of large-scale ink drawings that have a calligraphic quality to them that borrows from Chinese scroll paintings. The drawings are of large trees photographed in the New Forest and appear like large cameos, with large white shapes floating on a white background.

This is an exhibition preview. If you've been to see the show, why not let us know what you think?

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