Demeter and Persephone – Enraged Goddess: etching with viscosity relief 38x46cm.
© Rosalind Whitman 2021. All rights reserved.
Gallery times: Wednesdays to Fridays 13:00-17:00,
Saturdays 11:00-16:00, Sundays 11:00-17:00,
Mondays & Tuesdays Closed
Private View: Friday 15 September 2023 18:00-20:30
Whitman is an artist/printmaker who frequently draws inspiration from myths, literature and story-telling. Her engagement in a range of media and her understanding of the historical context of particular material processes inform her fascination with the idea of transformation. At Highgate Gallery she will be showing works created in response to: the Greek myth Demeter and Persephone; Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights; and, the subject of Transformation itself, works which Whitman refers to collectively as ‘Alchemical Allegories’. The thread binding her content together is the notion of a domain existing within, and beyond – the material world.
In a series of prints and relief sculptures, Whitman explores the story of the Greek goddess Demeter, mother of Kore/Persephone, the daughter who is abducted by the god Hades and transported into the Underworld – the dwelling place of the Dead, where – it was also believed – we inhabit when we sleep, as dreamers.
Black and White in Wuthering Heights encompasses themes in Emily Brontë’s novel, such as heaven and hell; love and loss; experiences remembered and re-visited. Within Brontë’s narrative, all is subject to a continuing process of transformation. The unceasing sense of unfolding in this compelling story suggests an alchemical conceptualisation- both in regard to the cyclical metamorphoses taking place in Nature, and of course – the dynamic and violent family struggles recurring across generations. This series of etchings has been exhibited previously at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, in Haworth.
Whitman’s panel paintings and etchings in Alchemical Allegories were inspired by and reference early alchemical treatises, in which instructions for early practitioners of the Art were mainly conveyed in a symbolic form. Believing strongly that the object of their research was to access a spiritual dimension, alchemists nevertheless contributed to the discovery of many of the materials and processes which have been used in fine arts and crafts practice in diverse cultures from antiquity to the present.
Whitman studied Fine Art (printmaking) at the Slade School, University College London, and later attended the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, University of Wales, where she gained a doctoral degree in 2017. The aim of her research was to understand more fully how the artist’s imagination is woven into the making process itself. Over the past twenty years Whitman worked as a freelance lecturer in Art and Design at The Prince’s Foundation School University of Wales, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts; and the Cordwainers College. She has exhibited as a member of various art collectives including East London Printmakers; Art Catcher; The Printmakers Council and Greenwich Printmakers. Throughout her career she has participated in mixed shows, in London, across the UK and abroad – in Europe, Australia, the USA, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia.
The Exhibition co-ordinator: Jason Sumray