2020 (ISBN 978-1-9995993-2-4)
South by Southwest
South by Southwest portrays the stretch of coast from Ilfracombe in North Devon to St Margaret’s Bay in Kent, through the unique vision of landscape painter Jeremy Gardiner. In this latest series of paintings, created over the past five years, Gardiner demonstrates an acute sense of his place in history, and the history of place: the geology, maritime history and industrial heritage of this constantly evolving coast, a shoreline that has long held a fascination for British artists.
Gardiner’s points of reference range from 19th-century landscape painting to Shell posters, from the St Ives modernists to picture postcards. Each offers a key to a view, over which Gardiner layers his own memory of a place, accumulated through time, changing light and weather. Capturing the hidden structures and movement of landscape, as well as the detail of harbours, piers and lighthouses, his paintings are specific though never insular.
Alongside these paintings, four essays, examine the context and innovative approach of Gardiner’s recent work on panel and paper, rarely and enviably sensitive to the spirit of Britain’s southern coastline.
Paintings about of the South Downs and Sussex coast
‘For Gardiner landscape is complex. His paintings do not simply show us what the eye sees, but give insights into what lies beneath the picture postcard images of our coastal landscape. They are also works of immense beauty with a lyrical sense of colour and space. These paintings position Gardiner at the forefront of contemporary conversation about landscape art.’
Tintagel to Lulworth
2018 (ISBN 978-1-9995993-2-4)
A body of work exploring the coastline from Tintagel to Lulworth.
‘I have collected illustrated topographical travel guides from the pre-war years such as the Ward Lock red guides and Our Beautiful Homeland series. Using these resources I am encountering new perspectives on coastal locations in Dorset, Devon and Cornwall.’
Jeremy Gardiner’s Port Quinn Hamlet and Cove recalls winter walks on this harsh North Cornwall coast – a white sky to the north beyond Kellan Head, the sea icy, the cold colours of the rocks in the cove, and the pallid wintry look of the sere grasses and bracken on the slopes of Doyden Head.
Christopher Somerville, Walking Correspondent, The Times
Drawn to the Coast
2018 (ISBN 978-0-9931746-6-7)
Full colour 104 page catalogue with reproductions of all 40 watercolour paintings featuring the coastal landscape of Devon, Dorset and Cornwall in the Southwest of England. Includes a comprehensive and informative essay by Andrew Lambirth describing how Gardiner produced this series of works on paper using watercolour with jesmonite and acrylic on handmade cotton rag paper.
Gardiner’s surfaces are fully animated and articulated first by drawing and then by the atmospherics of colour and texture. His is a highly creative use of line in conjunction with colour-area and stain and splash.
Pillars of Light
2016 (ISBN 978-09931746-4-3)
Full colour 112 page catalogue with reproductions of all thirty-six paintings. Includes a comprehensive and informative essay by Professor Christiana Payne describing Gardiner’s perspective of the coastal lighthouses of Devon, Dorset and Cornwall in the Southwest of England.
These paintings are the product of a prolonged engagement with lighthouses and their histories, and with some of the most evocative of Britain’s coastal landscapes.
Christiana Payne, Art Historian.
We have a romantic view of lighthouses, and that stems from being a maritime nation but also stems from the architectural beauty of these fantastic feats of Victorian engineering. They were designed to withstand storms and gigantic waves.
2013 (ISBN 978-1-84822-100-0)
Providing a comprehensive assessment of Jeremy Gardiner’s career to date, this monograph, the first of its kind, explains how this distinctive artist has taken the exploratory landscape vision of mid-century St Ives modernists like Ben Nicholson, Peter Lanyon and John Tunnard into a new post-millennial era.
Gardiner’s unique geological interpretation of landscape not only describes the current lie of the land but portrays it as a complex outcome of natural processes over vast periods of time. While indebted to British and American Modernism, Gardiner’s new conceptual rigour and technical repertoire is informed by science, geomorphology, new technologies and direct physical engagement with ancient landscapes.
Following a distinguished international teaching career, based in Britain and the United States, Gardiner’s landscape subjects have included geographically varied locations from the Jurassic Coast in his native Dorset and the rugged Atlantic seaboard of Cornwall, to the jagged volcanic topographies of the Brazilian oceanic islands and the Lake District. Including essays from leading art writers, this book provides an insight into the career of one of Britain’s most innovative contemporary landscape artists.
Exploring the Elemental
2013 (ISBN 978-0-9558255-6-9)
A selection of work from the 1980’s, paintings and intaglio monoprints of Dorset and Cornwall. Plus the ‘Waterfalls of the Lake District’ made while artist in residence at Nottingham University.
The exhibition begins with my early explorations of landscape. In the early 1980’s I had become interested in Landsat imagery (photographs taken from satellites 570 miles up in space) and Nazca Indian line drawings. These were to influence both the surface and form of those early paintings.
The Coast Revisited
Landscapes of England and Brazil
The Coast Revisited brings together more familiar English scenes with compositions inspired by the sun-suffused shoreline of South America. Gardiner has sought to convey an all encompassing yet personalised vision of the Cornish coast and the world heritage sites of the Jurassic Coast of Dorset, East Devon and Fernando de Nornonha, an archipelago off the North East coast of Brazil.
Along the Dorset Coast
Dorset Coast paintings
All true artists acknowledge their influences, for the whole of Art is there to be made use of, and Jeremy Gardiner is no exception, openly accepting the long tradition of the British landscape in which he works. But it is, for him, one that is set very much in a modern context. He looks perhaps to John Tunnard, Eric Ravilious and Alexander Mackenzie, and particularly to the metaphysical landscapes of Paul Nash, on the one hand, but quite as much to the more elliptical, conceptual and inter-disciplinary approaches of our own time. And in all of this he remains nothing if not his own man.
A Panoramic View
2010 (ISBN 978-0-9558255-2-1)
An exhibition John Tunnard and Jeremy Gardiner at Pallant House
There are tangible artistic affinities between Tunnard and Gardiner making their concurrent exhibitions at Pallant apt. Both artists have fashioned a reconstructed landscape of visionary intensity using abstract, post-cubist planes. But whereas the older artist’s work is informed by his previous life as a textile designer and by the pre-war absorption of constructivism and surrealist ideas – yielding a idiosyncratic and even wacky mix of biomorphic, technological or musical subject-matter – Gardiner’s outcome is more plainly topographical and associated with a specific place as a product of history.
Paintings charting a journey from St Agnes to the Lizard in Cornwall
I’ve said that Gardiner’s latest work is shaped by the history of art, but I should maybe have said by the history of representation, or even of seeing. Picture postcards, too, are embedded in the way we see – that
an artist sees – the landscape of Cornwall. That is quite a different thing from saying that Gardiner, with his postcardy titles, is trying to paint postcards, or even Tunnards or Nicholsons. Being a painter of histories is not the same thing as being an historicist painter. The palette of Gardiner’s ‘Lighthouse, The Lizard’ (cat 20) has something of the over- heightened contrasts of commercial imagery, and even some of its visual prompts. And yet the work’s juggling of colour is also intensely painterly and intently modern, neo-expressionist rather than romantic.
Fourteen vertical paintings of the Cornish Coast
From Sandy Mouth near Hartland in the far north down through Tintagel to west Penwith and around the Lands End peninsular to the more sheltered environs of Mounts Bay, Gunwallow and the Lizard, Gardiner has responded to a variety of places in a manner that posits refreshingly different linear, tonal and chromatic complexions.
Purbeck Light Years
2003 (ISBN 0-9543788-1-4)
Paintings and installation about Corfe Castle in Dorset at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery and Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts.
Jeremy Gardiner’s Purbeck Light Years, in my personal view, is the finest work of art inspired by the ruins of Corfe; certainly, no artist has tried so hard to capture the experience of the site or been so imaginative in his presentation to an audience. Over a period of several years Gardiner has illuminated the colours and transparency of the ruined walls, in addition to recording how their appearance changes with the time of the day, the seasons, and the weather – and, indeed, the memories he has accumulated in a life-long relationship with the castle.
Touring show of large scale painted panels of Swanage Bay and Ballard Point in Dorset from the balcony of No 2 The Parade, the house where Paul Nash lived in 1935.
Gardiner works indoors, looking from relative darkness at the brilliant light on Swanage Bay, from an enclosed place to a vast expanse of sea and sky. His paintings suggest that scrutinised from his domestic shelter, Ballard Point becomes disquieting; it takes on a presence and personality that set it apart from the rest of the coastline. The huge sky and the continuous, undifferentiated expanse that surrounds the headland (particularly nos. 3 and 6) evoke the intensity of American landscape rather than an English scale. Similarly Gardiner’s colour, especially his subtleties of blues and sandy yellow, often recalls the paintings of the Californian artist, Richard Diebenkorn.
Gardiner starts not with drawings but with a prepared wooden panel on which the entire development of the image takes place. Each one is a relief constructed of enigmatic wooden objects and larger, flat pieces of wood. While Ballard Point is instantly recognisable in the upper part of each panel, about half way down is a densely worked and less easily deciphered still life. These are set within the wooden relief so that we see them as though through a window. Gardiner first constructs this notional window. Then he attaches the small wooden objects and finally he applies many layers of paint which he then scrapes down and overpaints so that the intermingled strata echo the multiplicity of memories that inform the work.