Rural Relections Exhibition at Otter Gallery
Art Exhibition

Rural Reflections at Otter Gallery

an exhibition showcasing artwork by two Dorset artists

18th – 28th October 2023

Private View 17th October 6 – 9pm

‘Rural Reflections’ indulges in the sweetness of Autumn, showcasing oil paintings by two local artists, Sarah Batt and Alann Baggs, who depict scenes of pastoral perfection with pastel-coloured palettes reminiscent of Cezanne. As if exhaling after the blistering heat and noise of the summer, this exhibition will cool you down and transport you to an English country idyll where life was slower and ruled by the seasons. You are invited to embark on a visual journey that explores the essence of rural life, capturing its charm, serenity and timeless allure.

The perfect pairing, Otter Gallery is delighted to introduce you to two local artists, both concerned with perspective, light, colour and traditional subjects. Classically trained, they take a conventional approach whilst bringing a contemporary twist, resulting in highly covetable and elegant artworks. Alann Baggs presents a mixture of far-reaching landscapes and wooded glades, inviting the viewer to step into the terrain and breathe in the scented air.

Alan Baggs (centre) and Sarah Batt (right)

The painterly brush strokes create a prismatic effect and simultaneously construct what appears to be deep space and flat design. Tree canopies hug the top frame of the painting creating a quiet tunnel through which the viewer can enter. For an ex-graphic designer and technical draughtsman, it’s no wonder he has a natural flair for a good composition. “A drawing will always tell you much more than a snapshot ever could….the strength of the wind, the warmth of the sun and how cold your fingers were!”

Baggs’ landscapes glow with violet skies, flecks of coral and rusty hues co-exist harmoniously alongside zingy greens, ochres and pink pathways. Nothing is jarring, nothing is overpowering. Repetitive use of colour and gentle brush stokes across the whole canvas give his paintings an impressionistic cohesion. He has captured the golden light of late summer that hangs in the air, reflections upon water, dappled light through the trees – these are bucolic scenes of a bygone era.  

Muted palettes and soft edges continue through Sarah Batt’s oil paintings which include a mixture of delightful carp paintings, herds of cows, packs of hounds and pleasing still life compositions. Humorous titles point to a painter with a love of both human and animal life translating into joyous, loose, sketchy paintings. Deep indigo zings against vivid orange as fish glide and twist beneath the water lilies. There is depth to these works created through texture, intensity of colour and impasto paintwork. ‘High Summer’ is a favourite with its pretty rose pathway and lavender shadows. Powder pink appears repeatedly, even as ground peeping from beneath the galloping hounds and on the ridges of the carp. A trio of understated still life paintings are bursting with charm in their simplicity – a striped jug and fruits – easy to read, beautifully executed and there to be enjoyed. The painter describes her style as ‘tending towards the loose, colourful and energetic,’ learnt under the tutelage of Hugo Grenville, renowned expressive painter with a thirst for colour. 

Otter Gallery in Wimborne

This is a timeless collection, full of soft light, soothing lilacs, crisp autumn days, delightful subjects and an easy wholesomeness. Enjoy the rolling pastures and bucolic scenery, leaving you refreshed and with a profound appreciation for the pastoral landscapes that have inspired past generations of artists and many more to come.

As Cezanne confessed in his last years of intense solitude, painting in the Forest de Fontainebleu in Provence ‘The landscape becomes human, becomes a thinking, living being within me. I become one with my picture. We merge in an iridescent chaos.’