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Bath Gallery

Dot Wade: TacetMay 9 – Jul 13, 2024

Tacet, installation view

Artist Statement: My small studio sits in a wooded valley below moorland in East Cornwall. The area has a strong industrial heritage of copper and tin mining and the quarrying of granite. I grew up in south Cornwall, a stone’s throw from mine works and rocky outcrops. I often think about how this landscape has shaped my work.

I live in a granite cottage full of the damp smell of moss, lime washed walls, and wood smoke. The rooms are infused with a subdued cool light. The moorland has crept in and taken residence and that is where I feel comfortable.

Painting is my primary focus and stabilising force. I avoid lyrical associations, which can appear in a combination of colours or even the curve of a line. I want the work to be the base note, the ground beneath your feet, and the silence written into a musical score.

Tacet, installation view

I find spaces and how light interacts with them energising, especially quiet, untouched and wide-open spaces. I recently visited the northwest Pacific Coast of Canada, a landscape that is remote and unyielding. The feeling that arises from places like this informs my work. I don’t like fuss; I prefer clarity and always search for grounded simplicity. At home, I love the colour of the dying bracken in autumn. Did you know it turns to a deep burgundy in the rain? The sea is never far away either. In Cornish there is a single word – “glas” – which captures all the colours of the sea: blue, green, and grey.

Untitled 12, Dot Wade | Stone (Weathered) XXV, detail, JAMESPLUMB

I rarely paint the same painting twice. It depends on so many variations: weather, seasons, the light falling on a wall, the feel of fabric, sound, and abstract sensations such as longing. I reduce the tonality of my work in order to focus my attention. Focus is exquisite. Have you ever watched somebody draw? The sound of the pencil on the paper, the line’s journey, pinpoints of concentration that send a quiver.

Silence is one of the most important aspects of my work. I have named this collection Tacet because of the incredible idea that silence could be written into a musical score. Can silence also be painted?

Tacet is also a command to be silent. I would like the audience to set aside the noise of life, use the paintings as a point of rest, and silently reflect.

Untitled 03, Untitled 05, Dot Wade

Words

  • Dot Wade

Photos

  • Lottie Hampson

Featured works

Dot's distinctive approach to painting embodies structural compositions and a reductive palette, searching for a place of stillness and meditation. The drive to simplify is strong and reflects her belief in a spiritual and minimal approach to life.

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