Rachel Gibson

Hedgerow 2020

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I remember when I first saw Albrecht Durer’s watercolour ‘The Great piece of Turf’. I was quite young, interested in drawing and nature, and open to all ideas. This watercolour, painted in 1503, amazed me both in its virtuosity and amazes me still.

It is a study which records an unordered collection of wild plants. Plantain, grasses and dandelion vie for attention and are faithfully and lovingly laid down on paper, celebrating with an almost scientific eye the intricacy and importance of even the most humble of plant species.

During spring and summer 2020 I worked on a series of hedgerow paintings. Like many others I walked everyday, observing the subtle changes as early spring became late spring and then sped on into summer. Now here we are embracing autumn and the prospect of winter and I am still walking and painting.

The ‘hedgerow series’ reflect Durer’s ‘Great Piece of Turf’ in that these drawings and paintings record intensely observed pieces of roadside nature which may seem unobtrusive and are perhaps often ignored. Hedgerows remain a delight to me, however, as environments that are both complex and full of life.