Signs of Colour
This exhibition at Hilton Fine Art brings together three well-known colourists – Derek Balmer, Rose Hilton and Paul Wadsworth in a show that aims to celebrate the return of colour after the grey days of winter.
What links these artists is their strong sense of design and delight in bold colour. This is a hard balancing act to achieve and one that many painters attempt but which all too often end up with a cacophony of colours fighting against each other. These three artists have mastered the art of balancing the colour and tonal distribution so that the sum of the parts add up to more than the whole, resulting in wonderful colourfield paintings that give great sensory pleasure.
For each of them the figurative element is essential whether looking at the figures used as vehicles for colour in Paul Wadsworth and Rose Hilton’s paintings or the landscapes constructed in a vibrant palette by Derek Balmer. A show guaranteed to lift the spirits and herald the onset of Spring!
Derek Balmer, born in 1934, was part of the exciting 1960s Bristol art scene and later President of the RWA. An early Arnolfini artist, with two solo shows in the 1960s, he didn’t paint full time until he gave up a lucrative photography business. He has also held numerous solo and group shows in London, Amsterdam and The Hague.
Rose Hilton, born Tonbridge , Kent, 1931, studied at Beckenham School of Art and in 1953 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London. She married Roger Hilton in 1965. Rose has steadily built a reputation as a major St Ives artist. At her retrospective at Tate St Ives in 2008, the paintings were chosen to reflect the increasingly abstract nature of her work, though she rarely abandons figuration entirely. Though best known for her sensual nudes and lusciously coloured interiors, there were also landscapes on display, in which the leap towards abstraction is perhaps most apparent.
In recent years, the work of Paul Wadsworth has attracted two main audiences. On the one hand there are those who delight in his paintings of the Cornish landscape: where ragged, wild and vibrant swathes of paint sweep across the canvas capturing a moment in time at a favourite location. Others, however, prefer the altogether hotter, more exotic and less familiar feeling of the paintings that emerge from his travels in the Middle East. These views have been expressed repeatedly, but the truth is that Paul's work will never fit neatly into one slot or another. His work is a journey, an exploration where one adventure in paint leads to another and one where every landscape consists of more than just the physical qualities of terrain. His landscape is also the work of the mind, related emotionally to the fact of human nature.