Open Exhibition Prize Winners
What first attracted me to this painting was its clarity and calm. About half the surface is glassy sea unruffled by a breath of wind, underneath a soft sky luminous with the very same colours I find in the opal ring I’m wearing. It has the appeal of an abstract.
Then I notice the perspective. What perspective? The hut on the right presses against the picture frame, near enough to touch. The rails slightly left of centre are like a hand stretched out barring you from entering the picture. When you squeeze your way down to the sea you find a snapshot of activity between a group of sleek surfers - not a sign of shaggy wet lumps of hair, or crumbs of sand between the toes. Their sharp outlines are dwarfed by their sails, pristine, crisp, clear.
As we come back off the beach, springing out of the velvety dark hut is a white door. But not any old beach hut door. This one is festooned with frills and fringes, tassels and tapes in a lovely collation of pastel shades: an echo of the sea in the turquoise, the creams and pinks of sea shells, a hint of green from sea weed. But what is such a grand curtain doing here? Has it come down a peg or two from a previous life in a lady’s bedroom or her parlour? Why a curtain at all since one would imagine that privacy and modesty would be safe enough in the hands of the top panel of the door which appears to be opaque?
This work appeared in the Cork Street Open exhibition where last year the artist won the Framing Prize (£500) for his painting Newhaven Pier Steps. Anyone interested in bird paintings as well as sea side scenes should consult Tony Feld's website.