Bristol Drawing School Logo

Location  RWA, Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1PX

Telephone  0117 906 7606



Bristol Drawing School Logo

Post  Royal West of England Academy, Queen's Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1PX

Telephone  0117 973 5129 Email

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Through Hills and Valleys

Fri 8th April to Sun 17th April 2011
Open daily 11am - 6pm, Admission: Free

Preview with artists, Thursday 7th April 6 - 9pm

An exhibition showcasing work by two artists who explore landscape through the creation of new, fictional worlds. Through the process of drawing and collage, both artists project fantastical environments or ‘counter worlds', which blend reality and myth.

Ambrosine Allen and Anouk Mercier hold a shared interest in the history of landscape within the graphic arts, paying particular reference to antique etchings. The resulting works layer remnants of these romantic landscapes with newer fictional elements. The outcomes are disparate yet an interesting narrative exists between the two sets of work as both artists invite viewers to wander through unfamiliar worlds that can inspire both wonder and unease.

The exhibition will also present a selection of drawings created during a three-month long project that joined together artists from two collectives – London based The Drawing Factory and The Bristol Drawing Club. Created around the theme of ‘landscape’ the drawings were made collaboratively via the post.

Ambrosine Allen - The Extraordinary Wave - paper assemblage 2010 (16 x 22cm)

Ambrosine Allen - The Extraordinary Wave - paper assemblage 2010 (16 x 22cm)

Ambrosine Allen will be showing selected works from an ongoing series titled ‘Compendium to the New World’, a collection of drawings and collages that reference 18th and 19th century engravings of a geographical or geological interest. Informed by topography and the science, myths and history of humanity’s interaction with the physical world, the selected works are an array of landscapes both imaginary and real; architectural and natural.

The scenes presented are often troubling in some way: these are landscapes in turmoil, altered ecosystems where ambiguous structures sit in unusual or precarious settings, bizarre natural phenomena sweep through unfamiliar terrains, uncanny events unfold. It is a world that shadows our own whilst presenting an alternative evolution, a possible outcome to the self–destructive nature of mankind and recognition of the force of nature.

Anouk Mercier - Untitled (no.21)

Anouk Mercier - Untitled (no.21)

Anouk Mercier’s drawings rely heavily on the nostalgia of Romanticism, mythology and storytelling to depict melancholic worlds, undefined by either time, space or location. The combination of fragments from 17th and 18th Century landscape etching through collage with the artist’s own mark making contributes to confusing the boundaries of what is ‘real’, giving her works a dream-like quality.

Celebrating the power of imagination to escape the quotidian and the mundane, the theatricality of Anouk’s drawings prompts the creation of narratives by encouraging the viewer to follow the paths of the fantastical landscapes created. Her work presents a continuous search for escapism through the portrayal of a fragmented, yet beautiful ideal whilst also exploring the mysterious, the abysmal and the uncanny that often lurks behind such idylls.

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