A review by Maria Beston. Art Historian

“Out There”

“There are those who respond to unusual and difficult times like the unheard-of   ‘Lock Down’ by turning inwards and looking down. But painters of the quality of Pippa Darbyshire , high in
 her new seaside home in Margate, look out to the distant horizon and try to capture the beauty
of what they see. All the  muted colours of mist and clouds and distance ,where great working vessels
are passing or waiting and  turning with the tide. 

It is hard not to see her beautiful  images as symbolic. Under today’s circumstances, it seems happily reasonable that Pippa is reminding us of what we have been so badly missing: 

Openness, Distance and Freedom”

A review by Frederic Marinacce . Writer.

“Pippa Darbyshire en route vers l’horizon”

Depuis Margate où elle vit plein ciel en surplomb d’un rivage sillonné de navires, PIppa Darbyshire s’accorde le temps d’un nouvel horizon presque illimité.
Sa peinture épouse cette côte du Kent comme elle avait su si bien composer la Baie de Somme.
En présence d’un tableau de Pippa nous ne pouvons qu’éprouver un sentiment, une impression, un univers au rythme lent, progressif, un plateau où se reposer. Quelque chose…
Son style reflète sa perception intime du monde. Sa technique d’une subtile délicatesse de tons – l’eau et les sables de la mer – s’efface dans l’absolue maîtrise des formes. On voyage dans ses vues, on plonge dans ses lignes. On s’aperçoit rêveur de paysages, de rivages, curieux d’un monde proche et lointain.
De tableau en tableau Pippa nous livre une œuvre à la coloration étonnante qui ressemble à un secret.
Frederic Marinacce

A review from Mireille A – le Crotoy- 11/06/20

Quelle bonne idée cette exposition en ligne et la découverte de ces nouvelles œuvres.
Quel que soit le sujet on tombe sous le charme. Maintenant les bateaux et toujours la mer inspirante et les ciels tourmentés.
Lire les explications de Pippa permet de comprendre ce qu’elle peint. Et ce qu’elle peint c’est ce qu’elle voit. Et moi je m’y crois au 14ème étage dominant les flots.
D’un côté ou l’autre de la Manche ce sont les mêmes lumières qui l’inspirent, celles qu’on aime aussi, cette palette de bleu-gris-blanc avec cette fois-ci des éclats de rouge.
Hâte de revoir Pippa en Baie de Somme et de toucher les œuvres du doigt.

A review by Edward Rowe . Writer

New Departures, or it could be New Arrivals”

‘When my ship comes home.’

The sighting of a ship on the horizon is embedded in our culture, signifying a longed for change of fortune for the merchants of the Empire, or the fear of invasion, the Kentish Britons looking out over Julius Cesar’s galleys, the Viking longships, the Normans, the Spanish Armada, and those most feared who never came, Napoleon’s bogeymen, and Hitler.
The subject invites storytelling, and Pippa Darbyshire’s new series of seascapes provokes wonderment in her watchers. A ship far out at sea is a mystery we construct into personal stories. Or is it new departures? To the far continents, with what cargo, with which passengers? We make up our own stories from these paintings, these are no Raft of the Medusa depictions of an historical event.
Our ship at sea gives scale to the expansive field of view observed from a distance and in many of the series the point of view is high, we know from the high horizon, as from a clifftop, and we are told they were painted from Pippa’s 14th floor apartment. The palette is sometimes subdued, natural, realistic for an overcast sky, during weather, and so, believable for our narratives; the ship as object is distant and imprecise, toned to the sea, free to interpretation. For others, the ship is at the end of a long focus lens beyond the limits of its definition, the ship on the horizon, central to the image. But these are no photographs. They are truer, the detail is washed out, as it is beyond our point of focus. The camera does lie with its false detail at the periphery. For some of the series, the ship is a beacon of colour, shocking orange, and this can be true, our eye embellishes within its focus. Whatever the subtleties of the construction, these painting will forever stimulate the imagination of the watcher.

Others of the series use Darbyshire’s trademark palette of blues and greys. The colour of the sea reflects the sky. There are explorations of light on the water, and turbulent seas, which Darbyshire has devoted hundreds of hours of observation to capture. There are impressionist explorations of Margate beach. This is a proper beach, seen on a particular day – remember that day we went to Margate, washed by a proper sea, the North Sea and it draws closer to the psychological intent we can trace in Darbyshire’s development. Her decades of observation of mudflats in the Baie de Somme estuary in northern France produced paintings that are more romantic and reflective. The early paintings (refer to the gallery on her website) are strips of pastels, blues and greys reflecting the varying qualities of light and wetness of the mud. There is no sky, there is no scale, no intrusion of a fisherman, his dog, even a bird. We think they are close focus, as you would see, mesmerised by the utter beauty of the landscape, imprinted on the joint memory of you and your lover, on that day when you went to the Baie de Somme. Later paintings do exploit the potential of the sea we can trace on to the Margate series, the darkness of the sky, the incoherent patterns of broken waves. These earlier works are social paintings, reminiscences, less personal than the subject of Pippa’s thought provoking new departure, ‘Ships at Sea.’

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