The Paintings of Ivor John Powell

The vision of a border Welshman

New Forest Scene by Ivor Powell

2. New Forest Scene

25.5 x 30.5cm. Daler Board with home-made frame

NLW(PG 5882)

Ivor wrote the title, New Forest, Hants, on the reverse. In this early exploratory landscape, no animals or people appear. There was something about this crossing of pathways which attracted his attention. With its dark, sombre, almost threatening tones, its prominent signpost and milestone and its mysterious hut, without doors or windows, it has a meditative, surreal air. The painting shows that, even in his earliest attempts at composition, his aim was not to create simulations or mementos of places he liked, but to shape them according to his own narratives. As in other early pictures, especially, his concern not to lose any of his painted surface, when framing, made it necessary to reverse his home-made frame. While, for the representational artist who has centred his attention on the object of his vision, the margins of his painting will be cursorily treated and willingly sacrificed to the enclosing frame, Ivor has painted his whole surface with the same attention and will not allow any of his compositional decisions to be hidden, even if the resulting frame looks unusual.

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