Lydia Bauman was artist in residence at St Matthew's from 2012 until 2014.
As a landscape painter, whose interest lies not in narrative, but in form defined by light, I have been looking for motifs as contrasting as the cultivated landscapes of the Mediterranean and the deserts of north Africa and Australia.
Although de-populated, they are marked by a structure imposed by the human hand (geometry of fields, repetition of trees and other natural elements) or by my own formal order of compositional elements, resolved usually within the square format.
The images work both on a figurative and abstract level, the surface of the panels characterised by varied marks and textures achieved by a complex mixed media technique combining plaster, resin, wax, sand, acrylic texture gels and pigments.
I developed the technique in my search for visual equivalents of the particular character od each landscape – the subtelties of the various media combine to evoke the genius loci of each place.
But, ultimately, it is not even the spirit of the place that is the true subject of my works: it is the dialogue between the figurative elements and the abstraction of much that surrounds them – the competing claims of the ‘realistic’ motif and the flat surface of the painting – as well as the tension between spontaneous and accidental effects and the order which ultimately contains them.