Sam Vicary


Sam Vicary

18 April // Ebrill – 27 May // Mai 2016



Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night and spring after winter.

Rachel Larson, Silent Spring

“A walk in the aftermath of a storm at the beginning of this year confirmed that the lanes and bridal ways around Oriel Blodau Bach are wild and un-kept. They already showed signs of Spring even in the wettest, coldest weather and the promise of renewal.

For me making new work is about showing the ‘struggle’. I leave behind the physical process of drawing, continually over-painting and rejecting marks and colours for the sake of the form. Painting is about finding the correct balance, enjoying the subtlety of the relationship between form and surface. Revealing just enough of the intended.

Framing the smallest patches of land and sky, I realised my expectations of regeneration were replaced with a sense of loss and detachment. I noticed changes in the landscape and a much quieter dawn chorus. Flooding and high winds had felled great trees and paths had been washed away. Instead I saw hedges and trees cleared to make way for fresh tarmac and last year’s patches of flowers had gone. Those spaces reflecting the times and people I have lost in just one year.”

Sam Vicary lives and works in Cardigan, west Wales.

Sam Vicary

Oriel Blodau Bach’s current exhibition features four small paintings by Cardigan based artist Sam Vicary.

Vicary has come back to her practice in recent years after a long hiatus from creating work and her lightness of touch and sensitive eye have made it a return worth waiting for. Using the natural world around her as inspiration she creates works which take snap shots of the countryside.

These abstract compositions are meditative in nature – rather than trying to convey a place with broad brushstrokes and landscapes the paintings take a small square of the world and bring it in to focus. The paintings that Vicary has created for Oriel Blodau Bach explore the budding first emergence of spring in its fresh newness as well as in its darker moments. Vicary brings to life the feeling of winter light still falling on the first green moments of spring.

The four small pieces each find form in the natural world with branches and leaves creating abstract shapes. The artist uses the narrow focus of the pieces to offer a microcosm on the world and a moment of reflection. The first few tendrils of green in a new spring can be signs of hope and renewal in a new year but they also lend starkness to the dark around them and in so doing make it more profound.

The paintings make perfect sense placed in the village of New Inn. Bringing a small patch of the green all around it in to the heart of the village puts a different focus on it – the landscape is no longer the back drop to what’s going on but at the heart of things.

Kirsten Hinks

June 2016

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