Thursday 21 April 2011

Watercolour: Lucia Nogueira

I'd never heard of her when I passed the window of Kettle's Yard in February and noticed the nice light, casting interesting shadows and reflections around a sculpture installation of a chair. The resulting photo had a nice, watery resonance. Lucia Nogueira. I looked her up: a Brazilian woman about my own age who went to art school here and had considerable success before dying, sadly, in her forties.

Once you know a name it tends to recur, so, although I knew her only as a sculptor, it was no surprise to find her in the Watercolour exhibition. The light, small drawings washed with flattish colour reminded me not so much of the sculptures as of - my photo! There was the pregnant, watery colour, the dark-hearted lightness. I sat down opposite (a lovely, uncrowded day at Tate Britain, with room to sit and space to contemplate) and looked again at a quality I'd captured all unconsciously. There's nothing mysterious in this, I think. It's the normal osmosis of art. A lot of the seeing is not amenable to thought, but goes on at quite a different level. You don't 'know' it in words, can't speak about it, but you might photograph it.

So, an inkling, perhaps, of why paintings and statues ask to be photographed. Yes, they offer easy subjects - obligingly still, slowly changing as the light moves on them. But it's not just that.


marja-leena said...

Jean, I love the connections you find between real life, your own photos and this artist's work! This artist is new to me as well and I like this piece you've chosen to post here. I often wish I could be your ghost as you visit various exhibitions in London.

Sandra Davies said...

'normal osmosis of art' - such a good expression for a state I well recognise.

Peter Clothier said...

So many artists, like this one, who do truly beautiful work and yet remain in relative obscurity while the loud ones make out with all the fame and cash! It's what I write about. Thanks for sharing this one.