Katy Brown - Blue Sky Hydrangeas, oil on canvas, 58x25cm
Katy Brown was born in Jersey, and studied at Winchester School of Art. After graduating in 1999 she worked in both Brighton and her native Jersey before moving to Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula in 2006 with her partner and fellow artist Heath Hearn. The pair live, and have their studios, on the beautiful Mount Edgcumbe Country Estate; Katy’s studio is in the Old Cricket Pavilion with a veranda overlooking the surrounding woodland coppice and fields that lead to the magical camellia forest in the country park, and beyond to the beautiful River Tamar.
Her bucolic surroundings are a constant source of inspiration and her work for A Different Story are immersive recollections of encounters within the landscape as viewed from and around her cottage home and her studio.
Katy is compelled to paint her interactions with places that have an otherworldly quality to them, on either a small intimate scale or in a vast expansive sense: from a rock crevice in the garden that mimics a giant crevasse in the desert, to magical wild flowers and grasses that seed themselves on rough ground, to little inlets and streams that eventually run to the Tamar river, to the very romantic formal and informal gardens at Edgcumbe Park, strewn with exotic flora, fauna and relics of another time.
Working in oil on canvas and board, using pure pigments and layers of glazes, Katy applies marks and layers of fluid colour to capture fleeting moments with an almost spiritual sagacity. Katy works intuitively and in series, creating a body of work that may take a few months or several years to complete.
She says: “Layers are applied intuitively, through a painterly language of considered marks. These layers portray the mood and atmosphere of internal and external landscapes that I experience during each visit to the painting.”
When talking about her distinctive use of colour, she explains : “I use colour to build a visual history, creating the transparent illusion of differing levels of depth, through extremes of dark and light, restraint and freedom, movement and stillness, within the two-dimensional space, giving the effect of overlaying many sheets of coloured glass.”
Katy’s work is in private and public collections throughout the UK and overseas and she regularly exhibits - often alongside Heath Hearn - in galleries in London and Bath. This is their first joint exhibition in Cornwall since 2017.