‘The Stag shelters each night under an Oak Sapling'
An Exhibition of the Art of Eve Parnell, at Fred Winter Gallery, Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, England
Curator and Playwright Steve Newman wrote:
For Eve Parnell's last exhibition at Fred Winter Ltd I wrote that she is an artist of detailed observation whose photographic images take the viewer into an almost forgotten world of colour and depth, a secret world that might very well be a world of our dreams and imaginings, of a natural world that, for the most part, only resides in our subconscious wanderings.
The above is still true, but in this, her latest exhibition at Winter's - consisting of just seven new works of art - there's much more light, as if the Sun were shining for the first time, bringing a sort of biblical feel to the photographs that reminds me of John 1, 5, "In him was life; and life was the light of men." The Light of Mankind is at the heart of Eve's work.
As I wrote previously there is still that blurring of the photographic process that fuses into much older ideas and artistic schemes. Look deeply into the images and you might very well find yourself in the 15 century world of Piero Della Francesca, or Bennozo Gozzoli, or even Tissot, or more recently Pissaro, all painters of light, of light upon colour in the way that David Hockney has most recently used light in his ipad paintings.
In this new collection Eve has, as in her previous collection, used her camera as if it were a brush loaded with pigment, creating real brush strokes out of pure light, giving each 'painting', each piece of art, a real sense of having come from the hand as well as the intellect, creating something that almost breaks your heart in its powerful simplicity.
This time there's also a supernatural element of surprise - suggested to me at the moment I quoted from John's Gospel - as if Christ had just walked close by. That may sound fanciful, but look at the drops of water falling in 'Pond' and there is the captured essence of Man and Superman, of a moment of exquisite time - of the Holy Spirit.
The literary element within the skeleton of Eve's work is still there too where viewers will be confronted subconsciously by both the pastoral passion and deep sensuality of D.H. Lawrence, along with the openness of Walt Whitman and Yeats, and in this collection Franz Kafka's exploration of time and metamorphosis, mixed in with elements of T. E. Lawrence's poetic mysticism.
But what this new exhibition brings home to the viewer - as with the last - is the life of an artist who has - from experience, knowledge, and sheer brilliance of execution - created work that will communicate many fundamental principles about the nature of art, and the art of life.
Eve Parnell trained at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and has exhibited across Europe.