Nature: by, with, and from (by Olga Norris)

I have been feeling hemmed in recently, and had been looking forward to a visit to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where there is an exhibition of work by Peter Randall Page.  We were to have gone this past weekend, but circumstances ruled otherwise.

Peter Randall Page

Peter Randall Page

I have always thought that the work of this artist combines those two apparently so different areas of art: meticulous attention to nature and the abstract.  I also enjoy the overwhelming presence of pattern which seems both to draw in tight as well as pushing thoughts outwards to encompass the breadth of landscape in the depiction of one small seed.

As someone who is drawn to create work around the subject of human behaviour, I find it relaxing to contemplate art inspired and copied so directly from small elements of the completely natural world.  The very simplicity of it provides so much more complex a result in its very ease of observation. 

I hope that I do manage to get up to Yorkshire before the exhibition ends.

5 Responses to “Nature: by, with, and from (by Olga Norris)”

  1. 1 Cheryl September 22, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Olga et al,
    Thank you for your words today. Beauty is in them. I feel comforted. I too am hemmed in by my dear mother’s dementia and my own inertia.
    I shall have fun exploring Peter Randall Page.
    Very truly yours,

  2. 2 Olga September 22, 2009 at 12:08 am

    June, your words transported me to a wondrous place. A place I need right now as for family reasons I am in a helpless limbo state. It was the thought of focus on detail, the use of the small self contained recepticle of miraculous beauty, unique but part of unimaginable vastness, and changing – as you say – from day to day. Looking can be such a rewarding pleasure, and it is there I would like to be lost.

    Margaret, I too enjoy PRP’s drawings, and was interested to see on his website that his prints break away into a little contolled chaos. Normally his sculpture is something I admire but do not aspire to – but right now when creativity-inspiring input is not what is required; I need calm and reassurance, and for this it seems exclusively perfect.

    • 3 Clairan September 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm

      Peter R Page opens a new world to me. Thanks Olga. There is something fascinating about the tiny made large and the large made small, isn’t there?

  3. 4 margaret September 21, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    Peter Randall Page has been one of my art heros ever since I saw him on television about 15 years ago, doing an enormous charcoal drawing – a sheet of paper as tall as the room, but quite narrow in proportion – oh, about four feet wide. It was one of those “wow, I’d love to do that!” moments. At the time his carved work was less interesting to me (it all looked like intestines!), but a number of years ago Kew Gardens had an exhibition of his work based on seed pods, and that was a real eye opener, seeing the evolution of a piece from source through drawings into stone — into various types of stone, each with their own character.

  4. 5 June September 21, 2009 at 7:38 pm


    I”m sitting in a little Oregon (Pacific) coast town where I’ve only been once before. It’s on a tidal river, with an island just across from the hotel where we are staying. The river flows into the bay, which looks just like the river, which then of course becomes the ocean,which in the sunset laid a thread of waves just at the horizon. All this along the basalt coastal range of mountains, which form two sides of the Bay.

    I say all this because I realized that I will have to return again and again before I come to the point where I know what I’m looking at == “meticulous attention to nature” is your phrase, and it’s what I am missing. I painted today and the weeds that formed the forground were combinations of alizarin crimson, iron oxide transparent, yellow ochre, shades of green and shades of gold — and I have no idea what they were when they weren’t in their autumnal mode. And that was just the foreground.

    I can’t wait til tomorrow to discover what else I don’t know so I know what I must pay meticulous attention to.

    Nothing the size of Peter Randall Page, however.

    But we are in the midst of our September Summer, and nothing could be more glorious.

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