Following on from their successful Alan Braidwood Spring Exhibition & Azubuike Ani’s “Our Sacred World’, the Muswell Hill Gallery presents the ‘Pop Up Pantings’ show from North London women artists, Anne McNeill-Pulati & Non Worrall. Showcasing their new collection of imaginative and colourful artworks in oil, gouache and acrylics, the exhibition opens Thursday June 23rd through Sunday 26th June 2022.
Art late starter, Non Worrall’s artworks are full of spontaneity, colour balancing, texture and mark making. Her latest series sees layered acrylics and conte pastels on a range of different weights of raw linen and canvas, drawing the viewer in to see images that distort and simultaneously resonate with their own perceptions of reality.
Ahead of next Thursday June 23rd’s Opening, we catch up with Non and Anne for a brief chat..
Hi Non…good to meet you and for someone who doesn’t know your artwork and style, could you briefly introduce what you do and what your artwork is like?
Non: “When I retired from teaching, a friend persuaded me, against my better judgement, to join a Beginners’ Art Class at the Mary Ward Centre. The impact was amazing and instantaneous - suddenly something I was sure I’d be useless at became what I wanted to spend all my time doing! More than a decade later I’m lucky enough to rent a studio in Wood Green where I work on abstract representations of my perceptions of the natural world. Perhaps because I have no formal training as such I always seek out different materials and approaches to combine them. Being experimental is central for me.
Anne McNeill-Pulati: I am principally a colourist, and I describe my work as narrative and imaginative, influenced and inspired by stories which have a basis in myths and legends, often linked to metaphor and allegory, and trying to convey hidden meanings in their historical origins. I believe that images are a powerful way to tell a story and I find the painting process meditative and I only feel this way when I am painting and drawing.
Were you artistic from an early age and how did you break into the art world…did you study at one of the leading colleges etc
Non: Having been told by the Art teacher when I was 11 years old that I couldn’t draw, I always avoided being put in a position of trying to do anything artistic because I knew I would fail. It feels like a minor miracle that I now get so much pleasure from painting! After that introductory course I completed a Foundation Diploma and have continued to seek out unusual part time courses. We are so lucky to have such amazing public and private galleries in London - being able to see so many thought provoking exhibitions is probably the best source of learning more about painting!
Anne: My first experience of art-making as a child was enjoying the colours and textures of powder paint, but then I was given box sets of paint-by-numbers, which had the little pots of oil paint that I found the most interesting. These factors have influenced me to this day, as I prefer to paint with oil on canvas. Having dyslexia and being a visual thinker, my imagination has always been rich.
After gaining a Fine Art Degree at St. Albans Art and Design School in 1988, I became a practicing artist and teacher. For a period of 10 years, from 1995 to 2005,I lived and worked in Australia, where I studied for part of an MA course in Art Therapy, which led to counselling with adolescents.
Your artwork uses a wide palette of colours and how important is colour in your work? do you have favourite colours you work in and do they symbolise anything?
Non: Colour is the core component of my painting, particularly when combined with variations of texture and surface. I vary my palette to reflect my chosen subjects but also to resonate with my innate feelings and impressions during the process of painting. I think blue in its incredible variety of tone and shade remains my default colour though!
Anne: Colour is the principal guide to how my painting progresses, including lights and darks and harmonic qualities. I don’t have favourite colours, and I don’t use them symbolically. I use figures, animals and objects as symbols to depict my narratives.
You’ve had exhibitions in other countries and show in different UK galleries, and do you have a proudest achievement or stand out moment from your art journey
Non: Watching and listening to other people’s thoughts about and reactions to my work has become increasingly important. Apart from the sales (examples of my work are now in France, Germany, Russia and the States as well as the UK) and positive encouragement which is so affirming, the questions asked by viewers inform my ensuing decisions about subjects and techniques.
Anne: I have exhibited in Australia, New York and Hong Kong as well as the UK. The exhibition that I found the most pleasurable was at St Martins in the Fields in Trafalgar Square because there was a stream of constant visiting viewers.
Which artists or other people, things etc inspire and have influenced you and your work
Non: Support and help from family and friends have been key - without their encouragement I’d have given up many times. Painting is a solitary activity and always a challenge as well as a delight! Inevitably studying the works of other painters and sculptors leads me to think of ways to develop my own practice despite the frustration of knowing I’ll always fall short!!
Anne: The artists that I’ve been inspired by include Gauguin, Chagall, Matisse and Van Gogh for their use of colour. Paula Rego and Hopper among many others for their drawing skills.
Art is a much more accessible world for most these days and how good is it to be a local artist and show in a local gallery Are you excited for your Pop Up paintings exhibition opening on June 23rd?
Non: Being part of a studio network at Collage Arts in Wood Green provides me with exciting opportunities to see and discuss works in progress. We’re hoping that future developments will continue to help us contribute to building a more vibrant and diverse creative community. It’s great to have found a local gallery to show our work - can’t wait for Thursday 23rd
Anne: Being a working artist in my community is an enriching experience and I’m very much looking forward to exhibiting in the Muswell Hill Gallery.
The Anne McNeill-Pulati & Non Worrall ‘Pop-Up Paintings’ Exhibition opens on Thursday June 23rd from 5pm, at the Muswell Hill Gallery. Running until Sunday 26th June 2022 opening times are 11am-5pm Friday; Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 11pm-5pm.
Muswell Hill Gallery is located at 21 High Street, Hornsey, London, N8 7QB
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