The unexpected consequences of disturbed land - by fire, sea, wind, rain with or without man's interfering activities can to me be breathtakingly beautiful and exciting, especially when the land was previously familiar. Despite a sense of loss at the sometimes colossal changes, the thrill of discovery of a new way of seeing is greater. Clearance for forestry or mining shows a surprising order - not one designed for beauty but a waiting, an anticipation of what is to come.
The destruction by a heath fire transforms and if left uncleared a gradual process of regrowth and recovery occurs leaving charred trees whitening for years like ghosts.
I like my painting surfaces to have a grounded, textural quality but of unexpected outcome with scattering and pouring as if arrived at by chance amidst the grander scheme of painting.
''Anita Gellatly lives on the borders of Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey, in a landscape of downs and heathland that seems on the face of it almost too easy to enjoy - too lush, too beautiful, too densely inhabited by other people's visions and expectations. But having grown up in this part of the world, Gellatly gives us a rawer, more primal vision of this quintessentially English landscape.
Hers is a world that has been ravaged - but beautifully - by man: the charred vestiges of heathland fires, vast sand quarries eroded into near-lunar formations, the draggings and scourings of industrial forestry. But as with all the best landscape artists, what and where Gellatly paints is less important than what she has to say about it. She shows us her world in veils of hot, intense colour, in layers of atmosphere that contrast with the textures and markings of the burnt and gritty earth. It is a vision that feels at first exotic, but which emanates organically from her experience of this formative landscape. ''
Mark Hudson - Art critic - Daily Telegraph, Observer, Mail on Sunday. 'theartsdesk.com' online arts magazine.
West Surrey College of Art, Farnham
Camberwell College of Art , London.Fine Art.
Milan, Nice, New York, Dubai, Brisbane, NZ, Czech Republic and UK