Kathryn Dolby ‘Night Light’ (1-11 July)

“Dusk is a favourite time of day for Dolby. The bulk of the day is done, the light is softer and the transition between day and night seems to invite pause and contemplation. The muted moody blues of the crepuscular sky, an irresistible pull, encapsulating everything that is mysterious, liminal and quiet.” Nadine Abensur, text excerpt from BAM issue 19.

My interest in painting the landscape began when I became a mother. During the domestic routine, long hours of looking out into the landscape through a window, stirred sensations of curiosity and longing. In a way, having to slow down and become still has led to a heightened desire to observe; to see the detail in the hills, the movement of the trees, the seasonal shifts in colour, and to feel the full effect of light shifting from day to night.

During the bedtime routine, before I turn on my daughter’s blue Night Light, I notice the sun pull the light below the horizon, softening and obscuring the landscape into simplified shapes and shadows and for a few moments what we are left with is a room and window of blue.

The window has since become charged with personal and universal associations as a space between the interior and exterior, the emotional and the physical, the contained and the uncontained.

Each painting for Night Light pays homage to this experience of slowing down and searches for the quiet, the transitional and the poetic. Through minimal, spacious compositions, reductive, monochromatic palettes and the slight personification of trees, each piece reflects a shared experience of viewing the landscape with my daughter and also celebrates her playful and inquisitive influence.

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