Chasing Sublime Light is an exhibition which explores David Tress’ experience of travelling in the powerful mountainous landscapes of northern Britain.
The work in the exhibition is a direct and vigorous response to these landscapes as they appear now, but the roots of the project are in the journeys made over two hundred years ago by artists who pioneered the discovery of this scenery. These artists included J M W Turner, Thomas Girtin and Paul Sandby, and they were travelling in search of landscapes that were awe inspiring or terrifying - and the places in Britain in which artists found these 'awful' and 'terrific' prospects were chiefly in North Wales, the North of England, particularly the Lake District, and Scotland.
The journeys I undertook were fascinating, revealing a whole spectrum of changes from wild and almost unchanged stretches of moorland and coast, to the untidy urbanisation of locations overtaken by the industrial expansion of the nineteenth century.
Gathering together the material collected on the journeys I began making a series of finished paintings and drawings in the studio. These studio works document aspects of the landscapes as they presented themselves to me on the journeys, but in addition they have much greater depth and complexity than simple records of what I observed. They are unashamedly personal responses; painted and repainted, they are explorations of my emotional and painterly responses to Chasing Sublime Light.
Chasing Sublime Light' An Exhibition of work by David Tress RCA from 8 January to 6 February 2011, Royal Cambrian Academy art gallery, Crown Lane, Conwy.