Urban and Wild presents distinct artistic landscapes


A fascinating new exhibition has recently opened at Studio Eleven Gallery in the Fruit Market.

Urban and Wild is a joint showcase of paintings by Rob Moore and ceramics by Rebecca Appleby. This format is proving popular at the gallery, especially since its reopening following renovation and relocation to number 12 Humber Street.

This particular collection presents how the artists respond to the very different environments of urbanity and wilderness. Through expressive marks and sculptural forms, each creator conveys moods, textures and dialogues, combining to form an incredibly visual experience.

Rob Moore’s paintings share a similar style in one respect, in that the colours are soft yet contrasting. Some have bright backgrounds whilst the individual features are dark and muted, or present deep blues set against dark earth and creamy reflections.

There is also a very interesting technique involved that results in a spidery detail. This evokes surfaces that range from stone to water, as well as the spindly branches of tall tress.

Meanwhile, Rebecca Appleby’s ceramic style couldn’t be more different, yet complements the paintings beautifully.

Taking the form of strange structures that range from the hectically jagged to the rounded and squat, they bring to mind manmade objects infused with chaos and noise.

By adding Pollock-esque paint and scratches, Appleby juxtaposes the smoothness of civilisation with the frenetic nature of individual urban life.

Whilst the pieces themselves are silent and inert, you can’t help but imagine the mayhem, clamour and overlapping hustle and bustle that they represent.

Both artists have impressive backgrounds. Rob Moore is the retired Dean of Hull School of Art and Design, spending much of his time painting scenes from the Yorkshire Wolds and other natural, serene landscapes.

Meanwhile, some of Rebecca Appleby’s works have been acquired by the Centre of Ceramic Art York, with her pieces recognised as bold explorations of urban terrains.

Together, these creative individuals conjure up a juxtaposition of urban and wild surroundings that are both hard and evolving, and soft and eternal.

The result is a soothing exhibition rich in detail and insight, with Studio Eleven being the perfect environment to host it. Whilst a relatively small venue, the gallery staff are experts at using space to full effect, taking into account perspectives, lighting and movement.

Urban and Wild remains on display until 3 September and is free to view. Studio Eleven is open 11am-4pm Wednesday-Sunday and is in excellent company, with Humber Street Gallery and Kingston Art Group Gallery just a stone’s throw away.

If you’re feeling creative, ask about their wide-ranging programme of events and workshops whilst there. With so much going on and a membership scheme available, there’s no better time to get involved than during our year as the UK City of Culture.

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