The World Slips By

Heather Libson
Highgate Gallery
12 - 25 May 2023
Wednesdays to Fridays 13:00-17:00, Saturdays 11:00-16:00
Sundays 11:00-17:00, Mondays & Tuesdays Closed
Private View: Friday 12 May 2023 18:00-20:30

(Detail) The World Slips By no.28 (Storm over the Rio Grande):
acrylic on panel 10x15cm. © Heather Libson 2022. All rights reserved.

Expressed with positivity and a lightness of touch, this exhibition is a reflection of the artist’s concern with impermanence and her own mortality. It marks a shift from her earlier practice, in which she depicted an unsettling and penumbrous world, to one imbued with movement and light. This body of work brings two recent series into dynamic conversation: Meditations on an Apple Tree—quietly observed monochromatic brush and ink drawings inspired by the apple tree outside the artist’s garden studio—and The World Slips By, intimate, abstracted landscapes full of colour and life.

The fluency of Libson’s mark-making in both these series is evidence of a lifetime’s practice requiring patience, observation and dedication. These qualities have become the fertile—and reliable—ground upon which she lives and creates. The images on show demonstrate an increased freedom and clarity of expression.

In Meditations on an Apple Tree, Libson is working en plein air, with a calligraphy brush on paper: I need to be centred and thoughtful about the marks I make as the shadows fall on the paper only very briefly; ever-shifting, they flicker across the surface and disappear. It’s a profound and deeply-felt lesson in brevity, loss and acceptance and one I’ve learned through the process of making these drawings.

Meditation on an Apple Tree XVI: acrylic on paper 47.5x86cm © Heather Libson 2022. All rights reserved

The paintings in the series, The World Slips By are a travelogue of time, sensation, memory and place. These small, multi-layered wooden panels are expansive and monumental despite their scale. They are a skilful synthesis of freshness and vibrancy, experience and restraint: the landscape freeze-framed, captures a moment that blurs and vanishes in the blink of an eye. It is ephemeral, transient, somewhat intangible. The detail is indistinct but an imprint of colour, light and movement remains. There’s no time to linger. The world slips by as I hold fast to what I remember.

The World Slips By (Mantra):  acrylic on panel 10x15cm. © Heather Libson 2022. All rights reserved.

Heather Libson is an artist who lives and works in East London. Trained at Leeds Beckett University and with an MA in Fine Art from Chelsea School of Art, she has exhibited her work across Britain and is represented in UK collections including The British Museum, Texaco and The Economist. Awards include The Villiers David Travel Award (SPACE), Joseph Webb Award (Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers), Jewish Artists Award (Ben Uri Gallery). She has been a Visiting Lecturer at several institutions including Winchester School of Art, the University of Gloucestershire, Leeds Beckett University and a Part-time Lecturer at Croydon College. Her most recent exhibition was at Die Kleine Steinfelder Galerie, Germany.

For further information contact:

Claire FitzPatrick exhibition coordinator
Heather Libson
Instagram @heatherlibson