The British artist and printmaker Judy Attwood, living in Athens, presented her summer exhibition at the Yperia 2011 conference at the Aegialis Hotel & Spa (shown from April to October 2011). Her visual interpretation of Amorgos has offered inspiration for her paintings and etchings. She focuses on the balance of manmade and natural forms to be found in the landscape and nature as we find it in Amorgos.
Judy’s speech at Yperia 2011
People living stressful lives in the noise and pollution of the city have difficulty finding tranquillity. Memories of Amorgos bring us closer to the harmony of nature. A work of art offers you the possibility of carrying a magical dimension of a specific part of the world as seen through the eyes of the creator. An artist has the power to share their unique visualization with the viewer and each artist will choose to focus on different elements of the world around them.
I could say that Amorgos is an island that enables an artist to come into close contact with nature by utilizing their senses to the maximum. There is something special about the combination of aromas of the blossoms and the herbs combined with that of the sea, the sounds of the goat bells, the visions stone pathways winding across the rocky landscape. Through a piece of gnarled wood found on a winding stone pathway a work of art may begin, through the twisting lines which describe its form a sense of timelessness is created
Animals in their natural environment show the harmony to be found in nature and in Amorgos the goat nestling in the rocks is a constant reminder of a more harmonious existence. In my paintings and etchings I have used such starting points. Close-ups of spring flowers such as poppies are seen against the blue sky, their short life captured in two dimensions to relive throughout the year.
There are places which entice the artist by their form and connection with the landscape, one of these is the Hozoviotissa Monastery. The monastery sits precipitously on the rock face as proof of faith, from the sea or the pathways the while forms contrast with the warm earth tones of the cliff face. At different times of day the colours change from white to mauve and yellow tones offering the artist a multitude of choices. Below the monastery the church of Aghia Anna and the beach below present a brilliant contrast for the artist with bathers scattered in the deep blue sea breaking the calm of the scene.
My paintings and etchings attempt to condense the special experience of Amorgos which excites our senses and brings us into close contact with nature. Working in the medium of etching which involves a process of biting into a metal plate using acid allows the artist to build up layers of lines and marks which could be compared to the effects of time and erosion on objects. Old shutters have been reclaimed as interesting surfaces for paintings which combine old layers of paint with images such as the Hozoviotissa monastery and Hora.
My work can be found in collections around the world while etchings are currently included in the International Printmakers exhibition in Cornwall. More information about my work may be found on my website www.artist-and-printmaker.com or contact my via email email@example.com
Judy Attwood, April 2011
Read more about Judy Attwood and her work
Her work explores elements of the Greek landscape with a strong focus on forms which emphasize the harmony and balance to be found in nature. A goat sheltering in the rocks from the strong sunlight, a donkey pausing on a mountain pathway emphasize the peaceful existence that is possible in the natural world. Texture and line are fundamental characteristics of Judy’s work particularly in her prolific body of etchings. Intricate details of flowers and plants are often juxtaposed with the rhythm elements of the landscape. In work such as ‘Poppies’ and ‘Flower at Dafni’ we are invited to contemplate the intricate patterns to be found in the plant world and hopefully escape from the discords of the modern world.
The atmospheric quality of etching and aquatint lends itself perfectly to Judy’s choice of subject matter. Strong light and shadow feature in Judy’s work showing the influence of the Greek climate on her style and choice of colours. The Cycladic island of Amorgos has been a rich source of inspiration with its winding pathways, sun bleached architecture and plethora of flowers and plants, appearing in much of her work. Elements of ancient Greek mythology, patterns and design are seen in some pieces while doors and other architectural details feature strongly in other pieces of work
Judy works in a variety of media including watercolour, acrylics, oils and printmaking techniques. She has used reclaimed wooden shutters from Amorgos for a series of oil paintings reflecting the architecture and landscape of the island. A number of murals for the Aegialis Hotel and Spa show the possibilities of trompe l’oeil on a large scale as well as Judy’s versatility and dynamic compositions..
Beginning her career in art and design as a teacher Judy worked in schools and art colleges in both the UK and Greece. More recently she has bee involved with the International Baccalaureate visual arts programme as a teacher and examiner. A number of courses at the Athens Art Engraving Centre have allowed Judy to develop her printmaking skills particularly working with etching techniques The process of making an etching and the elelemnt of suspense until the paper is pulled back to reveal the often unexpected image captivated Judy from the outset.
Strictly limited numbered editions of original prints are produced from each plate using traditional hand pulled printing techniques using the finest Charbonnel oil-based inks on acid free Fabriano paper.