Process and Space
Landscape paintings and drawings by Laetitia Ward at King's Art Centre, King's College
This is the first, in what is planned to be a new and on-going series of exhibitions in the Art Rooms by King’s members. Tish Ward is an undergraduate at the College for whom art has been central part of her life since primary school.
My practice as an artist manifests through the process of drawing, which I define as an exercise in critical observation, exploration, investigation and description of space. This exhibition represents a selection of my work with a focus on landscape, which I almost exclusively create by working directly from my subject matter, outside, surrounded by the elements and space that I seek to explore and describe. Much of the work shown here came from the Suffolk coast, where the open spaces of pastures, sea and expansive sky, always there and yet ever changing, provide an endless source of inspiration.
In most recent work, I have used mainly pencil on paper and oil on board, and focused primarily on the natural subject matter of landscape. However, both the subject of the process and the medium through which this process is carried out are to me of secondary importance to the process itself and the conceptualisation behind it. This process, drawing, is where the external and internal constructs of mind and space meet and interact. It is, for me, a sort of language: constructed by and for myself to provide an introspective, investigative and descriptive system of dissection and analysis in relating to the external world, a dialogue between mind and space, which aids in my own personal understanding of it.
My core influences come firstly from the Euston Road School and those who stemmed from it, especially in the form of William Coldstream, Euan Uglow and Patrick George. Others whose work has informed my own practice include Nicolas de Staël and Paul Cézanne, to name just a couple, among a myriad of many more whose influence has spread through those that have come before me and can in turn be seen in my work today.
Landscape painting workshop, Saturday 17 October
Tish Ward (with King’s Art Teacher, Nigel Meager) will host a three-hour workshop to explore some elements of Tish’s landscape painting processes. More information and how to book will be sent by email nearer the time.
Laetitia Ward is in her final year as an undergraduate at King’s College, studying Psychological and Behavioural Sciences (PBS). She has had a rather unorthodox (and hence rather extended) path through an undergraduate degree, which, following a gap year, began in 2011 by studying Russian and Arabic, an AMES/MML tripos combination. Tish then switched into Part II of the PBS tripos last year.
Tish grew up in between London and rural Sussex, going to school in London but spending all weekends and holidays staying with grandparents in Sussex. As a result she came to know the best of both urban and rural life, but came to love the countryside most of all. Her love of the visual qualities in the rural landscape is central to her art.
Before coming to King’s, Tish’s plan had always been, since childhood, to go to art school. She has always been passionate about art, drawing in any spare moment in her sketchbook – a constant companion since year 3 of primary school. Nurtured by an inspiring art teacher through primary school, she was awarded an art scholarship at an independent secondary school.
In the sixth form, Tish’s art practice flourished with the guidance of art teachers, a new freedom to work outside the classroom, and a valuable opportunity to attend life-drawing classes at the Royal Academy. However, at her high achieving academic school, other forces came into play. With those shaping her path, before she knew it she had a place at Cambridge. There is a tension between ideas expressed in words within the framework of academia, and those expressed with the sensual qualities of paint. Tish is all too aware of this tension as she progresses towards her degree and states that: “To be an artist remains a core and essential part of who I am and how I live”.