Work of Carolyn Earlam & Geoff Bradford

Work of Carolyn Earlam & Geoff Bradford

Sat 4th March to Mon 1st May. Sat/Sun 11-5pm. Open during the week by appointment.

Carolyn Earlam: Artist Statement

Most of my work is developed from direct landscape studies, either drawings and paintings made en plain air or my own photographs. I explore and experiment with different media and techniques to evoke atmosphere and a sense of place. I have been particularly inspired by many visits to the islands of the Outer Hebrides. Walking in the Tyne Valley also provides many ideas, observing how the landscape changes with the seasons and weather.

I studied Fine Art at Newcastle University and more recently at Sunderland University. I taught art and design in schools and further education, later becoming Inspector for Visual and Performing Arts for Durham County Council. Since retirement I have been able to paint full time and have exhibited my work regularly across the region.

Geoff Bradford: Artist Statement

This exhibition has given me a chance to look at my work retrospectively from the earlier boxes to the present collages. They have things in common. Fragments of imagery are gleaned, cut, layered, and reassembled to create an alternative reality re-imagined and built on the landscape. Those ‘fragments’ are my proxy building blocks: old wallpaper, bits of sea worn plastic or a splinter of wood, a sweet wrapper. They suggest or stand in for something else.

Unlike others who work directly from the landscape, my studio plays a crucial role in my creative process because the walls and shelves house a physical history of my day-to-day over decades – a diary of objects that act as triggers to memory and/or place to inspire and evoke. It is also the place that allows me to reflect on work in progress and measure it against intention. I observe and make notes of the outside world and bring it inside to transform.

Over recent years my work has been moving towards creating a two-dimensional equivalent of the box form. Though the materials are largely the same a greater emphasis is placed on the quality of surface, which I make directly using graphite, paint, or coloured pencils. As well as drawing and mark-making, I also use passages of my own photographs often as a key to promoting or implying an idea.

The constant of working this way, the greater the chance of new work – the whole process is self-generating.

Artists initially address their work to themselves. There is the hope it may touch a chord in others.