Through the Window

A series of work in response to the Brightlingsea coast.

In late 2023 I observed and responded to the Brightlingsea coastline where I live. I spent time drawing through the window of the Art Hut in Brightlingsea.

Chrissie Richards drawing in art hut brightlingsea

Photographing things I saw that interested me, and looking at them in black and white was a good way to think about composition. Here are some sailing boats outside Brightlingsea Sailing Club, I liked the way the boats appeared to be piled up.

sailing boats outside brightlingsea sailing club

I made a painting in response to this image, it is on mdf board.

abstract boats with pink sky
Red Sky at Night

Below you can see a number of small mdf blocks with abstract images, these are free-standing or can be hung on the wall. I am interested in abstracting what I see, to show the essence of it in simples shapes and colour.

small mdf forms with coastal images and boats
Small mdf blocks
small mdf block abstract coastal image

I collected discarded pieces of wood that already had marks, holes cut out in various different shapes. All of the pieces already had a history, a memory of what had gone before.

discarded bits of wood
Discarded wood I found from wood workshop

The wood became the collage elements, in a similar way to making a 2D collage with paper. I considered the shape and size of the pieces, the space between the shapes and the colour. I began to think of this work as a collage construction.

wooden coastal sculpture
Collage construction with wood and string
wooden sculpture coastal
Collage construction with wood
wooden form
Collage construction with wood
mixed media sculpture
Collage construction with wood, wire and crab netting

I wanted to explore taking the 3D forms back into 2D painting. I started by cutting out cardboard shapes and adding paint to them.

painted cardboard shapes
Painted cardboard

This construction was informed by my memories of the coast I had observed and the 3D forms I made, the piece became richer from the memories I had made.

collage construction coastal theme
Collage construction in painted cardboard

These are wooden cubes with mixed media including paint, pencil and collage. They are inspired by the coast. The idea is to re-arrange them to create different compositions using all or a sub-set of the cubes. Moving the blocks allows you to imagine and re-imagine the landscape.

coastal sculpture in blocks
Wooden blocks with mixed media

This work culminated in a solo exhibition in The Art Hut, on the Brightlingsea Hard. You can only see the work by looking in through the windows, in the same way that I started this project by looking through the windows to draw what I saw.

art hut brightlingsea
The Art Hut, Brightlingsea
wooden collage construction of coastal boats
Through the window of The Art Hut, Brightlingsea
cardboard coastal collage constructions
Through the window of The Art Hut, Brightlingsea