Screes
By Howard Sutcliffe

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Year
1996
Media
Acrylic and Gouache Watercolour
Subject Matter
Abstract
Reg. Number
P681
Size
68 x 88 cm

Howard Sutcliffe's fondness of the landscape of Northern England comes through in this piece, depicting The Screes - the sheer, rocky hills on the southeast shore of the Wastwater in the Lake District. The Screes are approximately two thousand feet from base to top, and this image captures the sense of scale by giving most of the space over to the craggy hillside, while making it clear that it is impossible to represent the entire landscape in a single image. It resembles the landscape as seen in a fleeting glimpse through a travelling window - an idea found throughout Sutcliffe's work. His intention is to explore the way that people experience their environments and draw attention to the incomplete manner in which people perceive landscapes.

This artwork was created using a variety of mediums, combining the fluidity of watercolour, the texture of oil pastels and the striking colours of acrylic to create an exciting and powerful image. The cool colour palette, consisting of blues, greens, greys and browns, captures the hostile sense of beauty of the hillside. Pencil outlines are still visible, adding to the rough effect of the piece. There are no borders between elements of the piece, yet they are kept distinctive through the use of contrasting colours. The border formed where the paint meets the canvas is irregular and fluid, which helps maintain the sense of wild energy that pervades the image.

Howard Sutcliffe trained in a variety of disciplines, including art and design, textiles, printmaking and photography and attended a number of institutions that include universities in Dundee, Stockport and Nova Scotia. His work has been exhibited at the Glasgow School of Art, the Edinburgh College of Art, the Crawford Art Centre in St Andrews, Fife and various other exhibitions in Ireland, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. His interest in conservation comes through in the work inspired by the landscape of North-West England that emphasises, "the impression of an incomplete view or a brief glimpse of the landscape. . . the majority of people only experience the world around us through the window of a plane, train or car".

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