ROD BATHGATE | DECEMBER 2020

Cooks Hill Galleries (CHG) presents Rod Bathgate ‘Summer Breeze'. This online and in gallery exhibition opens Friday 4 December 6 - 8pm. Exhibition continues until Monday 21 December 2020.

More images to come closer to exhibition date.

 

In this collection of works I have divided the content and subject matter into two
distinct stylings while maintaining a common subject theme. 
By utilising my understanding and feel for the iconic ocean vistas in both treatments, I hope to unify the showing in those elements that are familiar and part of our appreciation as Novocastrians of the places we relax and thrive.
I will attempt to summarise the two approaches as best I can in two parts.
1] The comic treatment of the cartoon works in the first series of eight pictures, most of you will be familiar with. My intent with these is always to convey a sense of playfulness and some small irony, while hopefully delivering those realistic elements so identifiably Newcastle in nature ie: the refracting water, the coastal bluffs and landmarks. I always get a kick out of the joining together of the absurd with the realistic, the playful with the serious.
2] The second series of nine pictures has a more reflective and stylised mood and treatment. The working title of the show was intended to be: '2020...WHO SAW THAT COMING' an ironic and poignant description of a rather tumultuous and
interesting year. For these works, I used the myths of ancient Greece and the few
characters who stood out to me as emblems of this curious time. The works are
unified by the subject matter of somber, dark waves, incandescent clouds and
stylistic patterns to give the pieces a sense of story being told. All the works can be viewed as a continuum or as individual works, as they were produced in succession according to my mood and my to hopefully give a sense of the rapid changing events in our world in 2020. There is a mood of foreboding and a persistent ominous dark wave stares into the light as the sky plays out the conflict described in the titles. The irony I am attempting to portray is in the deep calm surrounding the series, while strange and epic events unfold in the atmosphere above. I think I got as close to the mood and narrative I had in my head as I completed each work. I hope you enjoy the works as a connected series and also as a reflection of the great divide between reality and illusion that this year and this time has produced.
Though the new mythological stylised works may appear like a departure for me, I
can assure you, these images float in my head every day of my life and now seems
as good a time as any to bring them to life in some small way. I have tried to be as
truthful to the feel of 2020 as I see it. 
We are in a wild time of flux and the comic and absurd as well as the tragic can
sometimes be close allies. This year has proved that. Thank you all and God bless.
Rod Bathgate