Micro-Macro is the current exhibition at Bethlem Gallery, featuring work by Pat Mear ranging from large-scale canvases to intimate ink drawings. Pat’s work intuitively explores her interests in both the grandeur and the minutia of the natural world. Her canvases express her love of nature and are frequently balanced with undertones of environmental concerns that hang over our planet and natural resources. In this blog post, Pat tells us a bit more about her work and the exhibition.
“For my upcoming exhibition, Beth (Elliott, Director of Bethlem Gallery) and I wanted to show more of my very large canvasses which few people, if anyone, have seen before. Beth also wanted to show the tiny Woolworths notebook drawings – which were only ever unearthed from piles of stuff because Outside In’s request for drawings set me thinking that I must surely be able to find some drawings somewhere. I never thought for one moment they would be as appreciated as they were in ‘The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious’ in London in 2014.
So, this juxtaposing of the very large with the very small led us to the title: ‘Micro-Macro.’ As well as the size of the pieces in the exhibition, it also relates to how my mind often works – relating small issues to the larger issues of environment and universe, good and bad.
I really hope the audience will find something amongst the very varied selection which they might be able to empathise with and enjoy. I think viewing other people’s work is simply all about liking – or not liking. Being able to relate to something a bit here or a bit there is a bonus. I get rather upset by people who overly concern themselves with ‘understanding’ everything. I mean, we can’t always understand our best friends, can we? I am happy to just leave them to look and see what they see.
My early paintings, like my lithos, were straight edged and hard-edged with colour theory; probably the result of having to conform at home and working in an Accounts Office. I was desperate to be more instantaneous and expressive. The new easy flowing Rotring pens reacted well. I was at last able to draw quicker than I could ‘monitor’ and ‘tidy up’! My problem then became how to paint on large canvases equally as quickly, and luckily for me, felt tip pens had just been invented, so I was able to make intuitive drawings on a huge scale.
I had early good advice from tutors to always move on, and this is what I’ve done. I allow happy accidents in one piece of work to lead onto the next piece – a new discovery to be explored. This also means each work is entirely unique and individual.
Exhibiting my work really is the most important thing in my life. I am very excited and feel very fortunate and cared for.”
Micro-Macro is at Bethlem Gallery, Beckenham until 30 April. It is open from 10am – 5pm Wednesday – Friday. Click here for more information.