Henrietta Hoyer Millar. Fragments

11 May — 2 Jun 2017 at Long & Ryle Gallery in London, United Kingdom

24 APRIL 2017
Henrietta Hoyer Millar,  Fragments. Courtesy of Long & Ryle
Henrietta Hoyer Millar, Fragments. Courtesy of Long & Ryle

This exhibition brings together an exciting new body of work, executed over the past two years, over which time Hoyer Millar has become increasingly inspired by the wonder of the details in the English landscape: the minutiae of nature as opposed to the larger horizons of her earlier work. The current series of paintings describes places close at hand, close to the earth or to the water's edge; her gaze is turned down towards the plants and thickets rather than up to the horizon and sky.

The paintings capture fleeting glimpses of detail that track the impermanence of the seasons and the rhythms of nature. The viewer is presented with an immediate sense of pleasure as nature's rhythms fragment themselves into moments - the transient winter light on a gate, Spring raindrops hanging perilously from the tips of branches, a momentary colour in an Autumn thicket - all microcosms of a larger landscape. Hoyer Millar's working process remains one of constant looking, noticing and recording, followed by a more contemplative period of remembering, imagining and distilling. Images, gathered from her daily walks, near her London and Dorset studios, are constantly collected and stored for future use. She takes time to pause, to look, to muse, but then seizes the moment in an instant - from slow time to quick time, a fragment of nature is captured.

This uncomplicated honesty of observations is inherent to the work; it manifests itself in the freshness of the mark making and in the energy that is compressed into the paint. A lack of self-consciousness enables the images to communicate directly. Hoyer Millar’s explorations on the ideas of reflection, memory and recognition create a beguiling simplicity, but also an intensity that fixes the paintings in the mind’s eye allowing them to linger in a way that creates a mysterious emotional hold.