A fascinating chat with Ruth Wharton at her exhibition in EVAN Gallery and Studios, it’s always good to discuss outside one’s own genre. She’s a licensed handler of explosives precursors and poisons (EPP), which means she can handle the materials required for etchings, such as Nitric Acid. Her exhibition features a number of etching techniques: aquatint, photogravure as well as direct etching, ie scratching the plate. Her results are intriguingly different to much of the art which you see around at galleries. To my eye, Ruth Wharton’s images are more intense and maybe more engaging. There is also a slight 3D effect from the thickness of the ink layer on the paper, particularly noticeable with the small size of the etchings she’s exhibiting. My photo shows only one of her many displays; Ruth’s exhibition takes the whole of Gallery 4A, with the ceramics of Rebecca Callis. As well as etchings, Ruth Wharton is also showing a couple of panels of photographs, nicely catching the personalities of the people she features, printed to black and white and mostly quite small prints.
And also an interesting chat next door in Eden Valley Artistic Network’s gallery with their much larger Autumn Open Exhibition. There are sixty artists exhibiting on two floors, many of the EVAN group have studio/workshop space in this building so some exhibits are in the form of Open Studio, although at the time of my visit these artists were not “at home”.
I enjoyed some fascinating and knowledgeable landscapes, more or less literal with explorations of the atmosphere of the Cumbrian locations in ways which photography cannot. And some accomplished and striking ceramics, jewellery, woven textiles, photography and even furniture.
Overall, a varied and worthwhile visit to Penrith’s Art Corner.