28 August - 18 September 2010
Mike McInnerney paints live in Helford
Mike McInnerney is out and about in the Helford and Frenchman’s Creek area, painting in (almost) all weathers. He has a pop up tent as an instant outdoor studio for bad days but, whatever the weather, he aims to capture the essence of a tree, one that has really caught his imagination, in one session of intensive work in gouache. It is a way of working that is fraught with difficulties, from the prevalence of midges, to the sudden downpours we can expect in Cornwall. And even on dryish days Cornish woods have a damp atmosphere making getting the paint to dry another problem.
McInnerney has painted trees and woodland paths directly from nature for the past two years, working in a portrait format as a way of emphasising the individual nature of each tree. Work begins and finishes on site and is usually completed in a morning or afternoon.
Routes and Branches is an exhibition that embraces this ongoing live performance element of McInnerney’s approach. The paintings form a series that began in July and will extend through to the end of the exhibition as part of Mike McInnerney’s Artist in Residency at Kestle Barton. Over several visits to Kestle Barton, McInnerney compiles his portraits of trees within a five-mile radius, each portrait viewed together as an extended family of forestry. At the time the exhibition opens on the Bank Holiday weekend of late August, two-thirds of the work will be completed and displayed on the walls. The remaining works will be represented in the gallery by empty frames.
At certain times during the exhibition visitors will be directed to McInnerney’s chosen painting spot for the day, so that if desired they may meet the artist and watch him working. In this way McInnerney will endeavor to complete his portraiture profile of the neighbouring trees surrounding Kestle Barton. At the end of each day, a chosen painting will be instantly framed and installed in the exhibition. The remaining works of the day will be mounted and displayed in a browser. All the works in the exhibition will be for sale.