THREE years in the making artist Tracy Levine’s new exhibition promises to be an absolute stunner.
Tracy’s Here and There, Ici et la exhibition runs at Rheged from Sunday (February 9) until March 9 and is her largest ever solo show, featuring new acrylic and mixed media paintings and monoprints from the Yorkshire Dales contrasted with those from south west France.
It is also the first time Rheged (near Penrith) has shown a major exhibition by a single artist in its superb top floor exhibition space.
Tracy has spent the last three years painting the moors of Swaledale in North Yorkshire and, by contrast, spending many months in the hilltop villages of the Languedoc region of France.
She says that much of the work in the Rheged show has been created by painting directly from the landscape, plein air, which is an important part of her style.
“My practise is one of being totally immersed in the landscape,” adds Tracy. “I revisit the same places again and again, painting from dawn until dusk. It allows me to tune into the essence of the place. The paintings in Here and There express the pleasure I have taken in losing myself in the landscape, and evoking its specific atmosphere, colour and light.”
One of the region’s top artists with a very distinctive individual and engaging semi-abstract style, Tracy’s work is exhibited widely in galleries around the UK as well as held in many private collections both here and abroad. She was a prizewinner three years in a row in the Cumbria Open (2008-10) as well as being landing top spot in 2009. And another feather in Tracy’s creative cap was in 2011 winning the Peter Tyson Painting Award at the Lake Artists Summer exhibition.
She gained a BA (Hons) degree in fine art in 1986, qualified as a lecturer in art two years later and went on to work in further and higher education for 12 years. She has been involved in teaching young adults and mature students in a range of artistic disciplines, including printmaking, life drawing and visual studies.
Complimentary to her teaching, and continuing artistic practice, Tracy ran her own successful business for 15 years in the specialist field of 20th Century Decorative Arts. She was one of the top half-a-dozen experts on the works of Clarice Cliff’s ceramics in the UK, regularly exhibiting in London and many other areas of the country.
In 2006, Tracy decided to commit more of her time into producing her own artwork and now works full time as an artist from a purpose-built studio in her home village, which has stunning views over the Kent Estuary to the hills of the Lake District. A wonderful landscape and the perfect source of inspiration for much of her work.
“Rheged is serious about showing excellent visual art,” explains Rheged’s arts officer John Stokes. “So it’s really exciting to be showing our first solo exhibition with such an excellent and popular local artist. Tracy has our whole gallery space to play with – it’s a daunting but also thrilling proposition.”
Tracy Levine: Here and There, Ici et là is open daily from 10.30am-4.30pm.