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Exhibition Opening Sat, 9th September 2023 @2pm

The title of this exhibition is borrowed from a C. S. Lewis sermon, “The Weight of Glory,” first preached in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford on 8th June 1941. In that sermon Lewis refers to the tension between our past and our future, and the balance we have between dreams and reality. It suggests that what at first seems certain is perhaps an illusion of our imagination.

In many ways that quote sums up the paintings of Anne Harkin-Petersen which on first glance would suggest a softness in the approach the artist takes. We can almost imagine the brushes gliding over the surface moving paint from plane to plane. But if we take time to really observe, absorb and contemplate these paintings reveal so much more. There are layers and layers of painting here – the suppressed energy of those layers is palpable. Anne is asking us to reflect on the idea that an initial glance at any aspect of life never truly reveals the complexity and beauty of what we see.

There is clearly a lineage and empathy to the later, iconic, works of Mark Rothko, an artist that Anne hugely admires. But these paintings should not be seen as a homage to a major figure in recent art history – rather they explore those notions of reflection, contemplation and the sublime. The other major difference between these painters is the punctuation moments that appear in this series of paintings – an otherwise plain background will have a small aperture revealing a highly coloured prior work.

To emphasise the softness that Anne wants us to experience, the title of the show and all the paintings are in lower case. These poetic phrases do not need to be spoken loudly or shouted. Rather they are a gentle whisper. Her palette too is much quieter that it has been – pared back and minimal, but retaining a glorious sumptuous quality.

Anne encourages us to slow down and spend time with each painting. Be tender, be kind, be moved. 

This exhibition is Curated by Eamonn Maxwell

This exhibition runs until Sat, 21st of October 2023

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