Current Exhibition





Runs until 21st November 2022

This October we are proud to be hosting Jacqueline Duncan’s first solo exhibition at the gallery.

Entitled ‘Aquaspace’ it embodies the subject source of the River Dart adjacent to the artist’s home in Devon.

Living in or visiting Dartmouth you can’t help but be constantly astounded by the River Dart – in all her moods.  Whether calm or turbulent, emptying or filling, the River Dart is a constant companion.  It is also a place of play, work and inspiration.

During Lockdown it was a particularly focused time of exploring what was on Jacqueline’s doorstep and attending to it in a new way.  The ebb and flow of the river, what is revealed and concealed, what is contained in, under and over it, all became the subject of investigation.  As her ideas developed so did her techniques, from flat painting to carefully wrought minute drawing.  And then her work took another turn: creation of a three-dimensional element that would convey to a viewer the interplay between light and the surface – just as the sun constantly shifts the colour of the water and the wind changes the patterns.  For this, she drew on her training in fashion – cutting things into different shapes, and utilising pins to hold things in place. Attention to detail on all surfaces, back and front, side to side, is also something from her fashion training and deployed throughout her art. It is an implicit exhortation for the viewer to move around the work and look from a distance as well as close-up, and in different lights.  The effects will be different – just as the view of the water is different under the impact of the changing elements.


In this exhibition you will see three phases of Jacqueline’s work.  

First comes the large-scale paintings where inks record the flow and flux of water.  Very fine drawing stemming from keen observation sits around the inks, hinting at the multitude of life-forms hosted in the aquascape.


Next comes a development where the play of light on the water is rendered by the ingenious use of pins to support minute flags.  The large, flat picture has been cut into myriad squares or circles, each one revealing intricate penmanship.  The underside is painted in fluorescent orange and then, through the careful placing of these flags – sometimes in grids, sometimes not – the different works of art are incarnated.  Not only is space created in a very literal way, but shadows are cast as the light changes and a glow emanates from the flags, projecting colour onto the background.  The aquascape is never still in either movement or sight: so too these works.


In the third phase of Jacqueline’s work, she returns to the large-scale pictures, carefully drawn with mud flows and water-runs, outlines of shells, tadpoles, seaweed and so many other living organisms found in the aquascape.  Then,  very overtly, they are superimposed by a grid, creating a sense of depth and view point through a host of windows to what is below.  This play with the same forms from earlier but to different outcomes, conveys a sense of both immensity and containment.  The aquascape is vast and ever-changing.  Yet, for a moment, it can be ‘captured’ and suspended, long enough to look and see and wonder!

We shall be opening on a Thursday rather than Friday evening this year allowing clients to attend both the exhibition Private View on Thursday and at the Food festival opening evening on Friday.