Northern Irish ‘fusionist’ artist Amanda Watt’s ‘Release’ exhibition in St James’s, London is a must visit suggests Matthew Steeples.
Former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, Academy Award winning director of Rain Man Barry Levinson, Oscar winning actor Owen Wilson and casino and hotel boss Steve Wynn are amongst the notable collectors of the works of the rightly renowned ‘fusionist’ artist Amanda Watt.
Born in Northern Ireland in 1960 and a graduate of the Belfast College of Art and Design in 1982, here is a talented lady who has spent much of her life in California and Florida but who last night – 22nd September 2022 – opened a solo exhibition at Gallery Eight in ritzy St James’s, London. It “pays homage to the past: the multiple perspectives of cubism; the bright energy of expressionism; and the simplicity of primitivism all combine in her unique and highly recognisable style” and will remain on show in the Duke Street gallery until 8th October.
A member of the somewhat eccentric Chelsea Arts Club – whose luminaries have also variously included the late, great Dudley Sutton (best known as Tinker Dill in Lovejoy), the County Durham born poet John Armstrong, the celebrated journalist Kate Mulvey and the photographer to the stars John Stoddart – in London, Watt has participated in group exhibitions there previously and also at galleries including Clarendon Fine Art and Elizabeth James in London, Buschelen Mowart in Vancouver, Canada John Dupree in Washington DC and Lee Hamilton in Santa Monica, California.
Commenting on her current exhibition – which is titled Release and features a themed selection of acrylic works – this multi-dimensional creative remarked:
“Release is the culmination of many years’ work since returning to Northern Ireland. The process has been a huge creative release. I have been emotionally honest, and unabashedly put it all out on the canvas to be viewed.”
“Every technical and intuitive weapon in my armoury has been employed to imbue this body of work with absolute and complete authenticity. The backstories and memories attached to some of the paintings may not always be the most wholesome, but now seeing it in its entirety I believe the result is bright, bold, positive and uplifting.”
Going further and referencing a style lauded as “bold, bright and brave” and her as someone who “merges styles that inspire her, while playing with the fusion of East and West” by her publicist, Watt adds:
“I eat, sleep and dream colour. There is no ‘good colour’ or ‘bad colour’: all colour is beautiful. It’s the unique way each tone works together that determines the mood, energy and emotion of my paintings.”
Amanda Watt will be exhibiting at Gallery Eight, 8 Duke Street, London, SW1Y 6BN from 23rd September to 8th October 2022, open Monday to Saturday from 11am to 7pm. For more information see AmandaWatt.co.uk or follow on Instagram at @Amanda_Watt_Art.