linda norris - about the artist
oriel linda norris gallery
Telephone: +44 (0)1437 532580
I am an artist living and working in Pembrokeshire. All my work is inspired by the ever-changing light and the rich textures and colours of the landscape around me.
As a child I always enjoyed making things and spent long hours digging clay from the stream at the bottom of our garden in Sussex, and making pots and figures which I would then "fire" in the oven. It is that feeling of getting lost in an activity, in creating something, that comes back to me now when I`m working in the studio. The process is often similarly messy and is satisfying on many levels.
I paint using either acrylic or oil paint, sometimes I make my own paper, or add plaster, sand, cloth, feathers even, to the painting surface. I often revel in very textured and messy surfaces, the physical, tactile involvement helps me to feel absorbed in the process. The element of play is central to my work, and when painting is going well, there is nothing like the feeling of making the right mark, mixing just the right colour, of things falling into place.
In the last twenty years I have moved much more towards an emotional approach. I would say that the landscape has become my canvas. I go out alone and experience the landscape, the weather, absorb the feeling and colour and sound of it, and this feeds back to my work in the studio. Sometimes the influence is fairly immediate, but often it takes a long time, years even, for ideas to germinate and come to fruition in my painting.
I came to glass as a painter looking for ways to work with transmitted, as well as reflected, light. For the past five years I have been exploring glass as a medium. In recent years I have become increasingly interested in exploring in my work the ways in which objects and artwork serves to link us to others and to the past, both personal and historic.I have just completed a major glass commission for Conwy Castle in North Wales, this project was a collaboration with glass painter, Rachel Phillips.
I am currently working on a collaboration with Kaori Maeda, a Japanese glass artist I met in the UK in 2008 and am hoping to travel to Japan to work with Kaori in 2013.
With the support of a Research and Development award from the Welsh Arts Council, I am currently researching a body of work inspired by the history and personal stories that shape the landscape of the area of North Pembrokeshire where I live. I want to and explore in my practice the ways in which man has lived in, worked and shaped the landscape. For this project I am researching new site-specific glass installations which will be sited in the landscape.
Working in glass offers me the possibility of developing my work in new dimensions and for new contexts. I am interested in using the medium to embody and evoke ideas and feelings and am working towards finding visually appropriate and interesting ways to achieve this. I would use the opportunity to develop new techniques and to incubate new ideas which I can bring back and feed into my work, thus supporting my ongoing exploration of finding meaningful ways to use my experience as a visual artist to make work with a conceptual content. More details about my glass work are available on my blog.
My jewellery pieces have come out of textural
explorations of the landscape and are made as an extension of my work as a painter. Each item is an individual piece inspired by an aspect of landscape, be it leaves, shells, lichens or rock and wood textures.
My jewellery is made from either glass, or Precious Metal Clay (pmc). Pmc is a clay-like
substance formed of 98% recycled fine silver and 2% organic binder. The pieces are made using impressions of form and texture I have taken directly from the Welsh landscape, the clay is applied to these textural moulds and is then fired to 900 degrees in my studio kiln. The binder is burned out during the firing process leaving 100% fine silver. These silver pieces are then burnished or tarnished and polished to the desired finish.
Making jewellery is a lot of fun. I love the idea of directly harvesting an aspect of nature and, by fire and design, transforming it into something precious that can be worn. Exploring new media enables me to experiment and expand my work in new directions.
Over the past twelve years we have welcomed nearly 3000 people to the gallery. I am always glad when someone walks away delighted to have purchased a piece of my work which reminds them of the emotional space that Pembrokeshire offers, and which they take back to their busy lives at home. It is not always easy living and working around the gallery, but, apart from making a living, having the gallery gives me contact with some of the people who appreciate my work. Being an artist is an isolated occupation and it is good to have feedback, I have been amazed how many people have written to me, sent poems even, saying how much my work means to them. I have printed a booklet of poems people have sent me alongside some of my paintings. The gallery also gives me some control over how my work is shown, much as I like showing in London and Bath, it is good to be able to exhibit a body of work all together, and in the place which inspires it.