Pippa Blake’s remarkable oil paintings are exceedingly expressive and have a great energy with an immediate, painterly finish. Therefore, she primarily works on a large scale in order to allow her gestural energy to be released. The physicality of mark making comes across as an important part of making her paintings. Blake is clearly interested in what can happen to paint on the surface, relishing in the chance element of what happens when paint is applied, as in integral part of the process of painting. ‘Head, heart and hand is the way I describe how I work.’
Growing up in a creative atmosphere, immersed in painting and drawing. Her focus moved from landscape and still life when she studied at Camberwell, where she became influenced by the Abstract Expressionists, and began creating large scale paintings from personal experience and pure physical mark making. She has spent years going back and forth between figuration and abstraction, notable in her large body of work. Initially being noted to have found working with figures inhibiting and constricting, her figuration works were driven by a desire to say more about the human condition, intrigued and affected by war and conflict. Her work is not intentionally politically charged but has undoubtedly been influenced by the tragedy and futility of conflict.
I feel a sense of oppression created through the dark, theatrical tones employed in her painting. She claims that she eliminates detail in order to strip matters down to an essence of feelings or atmosphere she wishes to convey. I consider this method to work successfully, feeling the varying atmospheres emanating from her paintings. Dark, murky and moody spaces resonate with the artist, however always with a glimmer of light, suggesting hope, in them. Source material includes wasteland and industrial spaces at night, recently she has been making works on night time landings and departures from airports. Art on a Postcard has taken Pippa Blake out of her comfort zone, in asking for small scale productions of her energetic, gestural works, and she has delivered magnificently with her striking small-scale airport ‘Arrival’ series, along with a couple of captivating figurative drawings.
About the writer
Tara is an Art Foundation and History of Art graduate born and bred in London. She has travelled the globe extensively, immersing herself in the vibrant arts and cultures the world has to offer, and hopes her next adventure will take her to India! She is currently teaching English as a foreign language whilst enjoying volunteering at Art on a Postcard, and she hopes to break into the art world!