Jethro Buck

2 — 27 May 2017 at Crane Kalman Gallery in London, United Kingdom

18 MARCH 2017
Buck, Jethro Dream Time Tang. Courtesy of Crane Kalman Gallery
Buck, Jethro Dream Time Tang. Courtesy of Crane Kalman Gallery

Jethro Buck is a painter with a special interest in Indian miniature painting. He applies traditional techniques to explore and celebrate the natural world, mainly using hand ground natural pigments. Born in Oxford in 1986, Jethro holds a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from Falmouth College of Arts (2005-2008) and a Masters degree in Traditional Arts from the Princes School of Traditional Arts (2012-2014). He was awarded the Farjam scholarship to study there and in 2014 received the Ciclitira prize for outstanding work presented by HRH Prince Charles. In addition to several well received sell out solo exhibitions, Buck’s work has been acquired by numerous private collections worldwide and is included in various publications.

In 2012 Buck received a grant from INTACH - Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. He used this to study Indian miniature painting under the tutelage of master painter Ajay Sharma. These studies are on going. He is now based at his studio in Hackney Wick. This will be Jethro’s first solo exhibition at Crane Kalman, and the works will be for sale.

"My work is essentially an exploration of Nature and a celebration of life and beauty. I’m far more comfortable painting this sentiment than I am saying it. I paint in order to explore, to seek truth and find joy in the process."

There is something magical in these paintings. You sense it – the magic –suspended just beneath the surface of the ocean in 'The Night the Whale Came to Falmouth Bay'. And you sense it, too, in 'The Night Tree’s' gold and indigo calm. It is there in 'The Flower Maker’s' great explosion of colour, and in the stolen glimpse of an ascending bird. Time, perhaps that is what instils each of these paintings with magic and mystery, a time that expands, holds its breath, then separates, like light in a prism. ‘To paint in this way, you have to slow down. You lose yourself in the painting – and time is directly linked to your experience of it,’ says Jethro by way of explanation.

Trees appear time and again in Jethro’s work. A vertical axis in nature is very rare, he says, but you find it in trees. They have long been revered as a convergence of worlds, with their branches reaching up to Heaven and their roots cast in the underworld.

Mountains, too, unite Heaven and Earth. And one serves as centerpiece to the brilliant 'Before We Knew It, We Climbed a Mountain', a visual poem about sharing a journey, about kindness – about love.

‘I like to capture transition,’ says Jethro, ‘like the transition when the day is over but the night hasn’t yet begun. I like to capture something the camera can’t.’ Well, he captures that and more. He captures a world brimming with mystery and secrets, with awe and good humour – and, yes, with magic.

Jethro’s 'Axis mundi' exhibition will take place at Crane Kalman Gallery from 2nd to 27th May 2017.