Lie Low by Jo Dalgety - exhibition July/August 2020

Posted by Fiona Cable on

Art and literature have deeply influenced each other over the centuries. They are interconnected and depend on one another. The inspiration goes both ways. Jo Dalgety is no stranger to the dance between poetry and painting, she has been doing both from a young age. In recent times of upheaval and unknowns, Jo serendipitously stumbled on Wendell Berry’s poem, The Peace of Wild Things and a new series or paintings, mixed with collage and charcoal developed.

When despair for the world grows in me… I come into the peace of wild things…

Landscapes, but not of particular places, from memories and fragments appeared –  landscapes that you can enter, finding moments of stillness and space for renewal. 

As waves of disconnect and discontent surged through, Jo found solace in poetry and painting. Her method of ripping up old work and reconnecting it in new ways seems apt, a form of healing and rejuvenation. TJ McNamara commented on her “unusual technique of contrasting the transparency of watercolour with the intense black of charcoal. The effect is atmospheric landscapes that are rich despite being small.” Jo has since scaled up in her process, still capturing the essence and richness, transposing poetic words to visual form.

It is a fascinating interplay between modes of art - the way poetry and painting relate to each other. Both capture an experience in a living, concentrated way. Both share a harmony, structure, colour and rhythm; in the compositional balance of a painting, one can almost speak of one colour "rhyming" with another. A poem communicates in a subliminal way, unfolding through the senses as it moves along, as can a painting.

This series of work is about the solace and hope, the reassurance of the repeated rhythms of nature. The landscape can be a place of renewal, not only for artists but poets, walkers and wanderers too.

As Leonardo da Vinci once said: “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

This Is the Time to Be Slow

by John O’Donohue

This is the time to be slow
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes

Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.

If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

To view Jo's work click here.


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