Town 2005

Carol Rhodes (born 1959, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)

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Copyright: Copyright The Artist; Courtesy of Mummery + Schnelle, London

Carol Rhodes’ paintings depict aerial views of fictional landscapes. The man-made and functional characteristics of the landscapes are redolent of human presence, despite the lack of any discernible human activity. Large man-made infrastructures are seen from considerable height, their geometry interacting with the landscape to create abstract patterns on the paint surface. Town embodies many of the qualities that have made her work distinctive, but also marks a departure from her normal practice. Her paintings have usually consisted of distant aerial views, as though seen from an aircraft at cruising altitude. Here, the view is closer and more detailed, as if the plane were about to land nearby. In all her work she is interested in the human impact on landscape. The built environment and transport infrastructure have featured strongly in the past. The imagined landscape of Town evokes a model village or architect’s model, where the creator has had a free hand in defining the imagined place. The image contains archetypal elements of a traditional townscape, with the railway station and the large house or block of flats in background. In talking about her work, Carol Rhodes points out that when you are high up, you see more and get a feeling of being in control, but if you go too high you lose control and get a kind of agoraphobic panic. In her work she is interested in keeping the subject on the line between these two extremes. Rhodes has explained that she first gets a strong idea of what she wants to paint and then manipulates photographs and other images to fit her vision. Carol Rhodes works slowly, usually producing no more than five paintings a year, which are precise and planned in detail. The paintings are small and intimate, retaining a very strong painterly quality.

Acquisition Details

Acquired from Mummery + Schnelle, London
Purchased with funds from the National Collecting Scheme for Scotland which was originated and operated 2003-2006 by the Contemporary Art Society and supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.
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