Looking In/Looking Out

Marilyn Simler
Highgate Gallery
07 - 20 Oct 2022
Wednesdays to Fridays 13:00-17:00, Saturdays 11:00-16:00
Sundays 11:00-17:00, Mondays & Tuesdays Closed
Private View: Friday 07 October 18:00-20:30

(Detail) Looking In:  mixed media on canvas 60x60cm.
© Marilyn Simler 2022. All rights reserved.

Life and death preoccupy most of us – never more so than during lockdown.

The Cycle of Life, a recurring theme in the work of Marilyn Simler, took on a deeper and more penetrating exploration during this time.  Simler says, “For the first time in years, I was able to focus on creating a new body of work, working every day immersed in the flow with little interruption”.   Emerging from lockdown, and being presented with the openness and thrill of the vastness of the landscape and enduring positivity of the world, explains the title of the exhibition.

What has emerged is a series that has come from within, which considers the impact of the pandemic and of being more solitary.

Simler’s works reference the magnitude of the natural world which becomes a metaphor for the life cycle.  Her preoccupation is with the organic structure of plants and seed pods, and the celebratory glory of flowers, the journey from germination, sprouting, growing, budding, flowering, fading, drooping, folding in, dying, drying, merging…..to re-emergence.  She observes the variety of seasonal landscapes, the sea and its treasures of shells and lumps of coral, in turn creating worlds within worlds and explored in mixed media.

Marilyn works intuitively allowing the work to develop in an unplanned exploratory manner; each piece becoming a journey of its own.  The work has recognisable and abstracted forms that are integrated into abstract spaces, and she uses a variety of media including drawing, watercolours, acrylics and collage on both paper and canvas. Often a few surprise elements are integrated into the surface of the ground.

Bursting Forth: mixed media on canvas 76x101cm. © Marilyn Simler 2021. All rights reserved.

Rising: Mixed media on paper 76x56cm. © Marilyn Simler 2021. All rights reserved.

The vibrant colours and textures of Southern Africa are inherent in Simler’s work, having spent her formative years growing up there and gaining a BA Honours in Fine Arts at Wits University.  After emigrating to the UK with her family she obtained an MA in Fine Arts at Middlesex University.

She has exhibited widely in both group and solo exhibitions, including the Cadogan Gallery and the Royal Opera House.

Her work is held in Public Collections, including the Rolls Building, Unilever, and the V&A print collection portfolio with the PMC Publications.  Awards include the Print prize at Middlesex University, St Cuthbert’s Mill Award for the National Open Print and the Zenith Purchase Prize at the Mall Gallery London. Commissions include Royal Caribbean Cruise line, and many corporate and private commissions.

For more information www.marilynsimler.net

For further information please contact Trisha Dale, Exhibition co-ordinator