23rd November 2018 - 26th January 2019
Brita Granström: Behold, This Dreamer!
Brita Granström has been living on the Northumberland coast for over 20 years, but regularly spends the summer months at her lakeside studio in her native Sweden. Her expressive paintings reflect these contrasting habitats and, although at times celebratory, often hint at something more mysterious beneath the surface narrative... the exhibition’s title painting, with its figure lost in dreams, is suffused with metaphors that reference the writings of Walter de la Mare and yet also conjure the poetic spirit of William Blake:
‘To see a world in a grain of sand / And a heaven in a wild flower
To hold infinity in the palm of your hand / And eternity in an hour’
In Bindweed and Bather, another dreamer stands in a lake, seemingly adrift in reverie as a rainstorm looms on the horizon and the flowers’ tendrils coil behind her. The theme of fleeting, dappled light amongst washing lines in White Laundry is encapsulated in a published essay on Granström by the art historian Philip Vann: “The billowing white sheet, with its ‘magic lantern show’ of meandering watery blue tree shapes, carries manifold associations with themes of nurturing, rest, innocence, procreation and the promise of fecund new beginnings in the image of ‘a clean sheet’... these are self-portraits from the subconscious...”
There are more ‘everyday’ scenes here too; the paintings Elderberry Cordial, Red Sledge, Green Elder and Before the Jump capture those small, intimate moments that populate all of our lives. The art historian William Varley once described the life-affirming generosity in Brita Granström's paintings as ‘an art of healing,’ before summing up her work with one perfect word: ‘Largesse’.
Brita Granström was born in 1969 and studied at Konstfack in Stockholm. Her recent solo exhibitions include Dreaming of Scotland, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh 2017; Nocturnal Swimmer and other new paintings, Tanner & Lawson London 2016; and Love Letters, Gallagher & Turner, Newcastle upon Tyne 2015. The Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Awards purchased her painting Mother of Four in 2011, and she won first prize at The People Show twice, in 2001 and 2005.
Open Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 5pm
Closed Sunday, Monday and Bank Holidays
This exhibition closed 23rd December 2018 - 2nd January 2019
Behold, This Dreamer!, Mixed media on canvas
Bindweed and Bather, Mixed media on canvas
Red Sledge, Green Elder, Mixed media on canvas
© the artist
Text by Mick Manning.
All works are available for sale