British artist Barbara Nicholls’ (born 1963) watercolours emerge by manipulating the behaviour of pigment in ever-increasing quantities of water that result in an immense richness of nuanced and vibrant colours. Reminiscent of gemstones or excerpts from nature in a wider sense, Nicholls researches and experiments like a scientist or alchemist to reveal the microcosms of our planet.
Painted on a sheet of thick watercolour paper Over Under bears traces of water and pigment echoing sediment flowing through a riverbed, patterned rocks or sands are laid bare by the warmth and illumination of sun and wind. Organic patterns and shapes reflect the elemental movement of nature, the tones, surfaces, structures, and texture of the earth. Pools of transparent expanses of pigment form circular shapes, spectral imprints of the performative act of painting.
“When I create my watercolours on paper I recall places I have experienced and others I imagine as the work forms. Some seen and others sensed. I remember ancient meandering pathways; natural and man-made dams and bridges across rivers; the controlled carrying of water in aqueducts and canals; flooded fields with lines of debris left behind after the water has retreated; tide marks on beaches; cumulus clouds over hills reflected in ponds; coloured mineral and sediments forming lines on the banks of rivers; varying depths and shapes of geological layers in cliffs and quarries revealing past events and movements of the earth.”
Patrick Heide Contemporary Art fosters a group of emerging and mid-career international artists, as well as selected younger artists in its 'Breeder' part of the gallery program. PHCA promotes artistic positions that reveal the relations between the physical and the metaphysical. The gallery's quest is to find artistic statements that explore the human condition by revealing realms of our mind and imagination that only art can reach.