Lesley Hicks and Atsuhide Ito have put together the exhibition called as part of ‘...and after’, which will run from 10 January to 31 January in the gallery, in Middlesbrough Tower.
The paintings and drawings from both artists have been inspired by landscapes that have been shaped and transformed by natural disasters – from volcanic eruptions to tsunamis.
Atsuhide Ito took inspiration from recent tsunami tragedies in both Thailand and Japan over recent years for his series, ‘After The Flood’. The first painting in the series drew upon emotions he experienced looking at a newspaper photograph of a family who had died in the tsunami in Thailand in 2009.
Then, five months after an earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan in 2011, Atsuhide visited the town of Kesennuma, which had been severely damaged in the disaster.
'Approximately 2,000 inhabitants of Kesennuma died on that day, and it is after walking through the ‘apocalyptic landscape’ I found there, that I experienced firsthand a sense of ruin, pain and a lack of civility; themes that have all been translated into the rest of the After The Flood series,' said Atsuhide.
Lesley Hicks’ drawings and paintings in this exhibition respond to a particular landscape known as the Sandar, encountered while travelling in Iceland during the summer. The Sandar are areas of land formed by deposits of sediment left by melt water at the base of glaciers often following volcanic activity, forming vast, flat plains stretching for miles.
Her work is closely connected to experiences of travel and she has looked to revive the traditional ‘plein air’ method of painting, putting artists in the open air and at the heart of the environment they are attempting to capture, rather than enclosed inside a studio.
‘...and after’ will be open between 9.30am – 4.00pm from 10 – 31 January in the Constantine Gallery, based on the ground floor of the Middlesbrough Tower just off Borough Road.