You could be mistaken for thinking that the works in the Surface Tension exhibition are by two different artists.
All of the paintings are by Whitby artist Richard Pottas and all derive from the same starting points but have evolved in different ways.
Much of the work is begun in South West France and finished in Pottas’s studio in Whitby. Richard Pottas has developed a fascination with vegetation and climate and how the former is influenced by the latter.
Decorative in approach to his subject matter, the artist is always at pains to remain faithful to his vision, and the interpretation of what he sees and the question, “Is this what l see?” is integral to all of his work.
Aware that nature has a vivid palette to inspire, the artist looks to interpret a world that is optimistic, rich, and changing with the seasons.
Intense heat, dazzling light, and the occasional violent thunderstorm in the Languedoc all serve to create atmosphere and inspiration.
This region bewitches with its rugged limestone gorges, arid coastal plains, and heavily wooded mountains, but Pottas is more interested in inspection, rather than the dramatic vista or view, and he invites, through his work, the viewer to see the region from a different perspective.
This exhibition in part acknowledges the palette of the Fauves, the decorative patterns and edge qualities found in Japanese wood block prints, and includes passing reference to Pointillism.
Always remaining true to his vision, Pottas never allows influences to dictate process, and though never actually depicted certain works suggest bursting seed heads, explosions of pollen, insect swarms, and torrential rain – masking, softening and veiling the forms beyond.
You can catch the exhibition at Woodend Gallery in Scarborough for the remainder of September, open from 9am to 5pm.