Ian Mitchell - Swinsty Outcrop

16 February to 2 June 2019

Ian Mitchell's vibrant work celebrates the British landscape. In particular, this new exhibition reflects the distinctive and varied countryside and coastline of Yorkshire.

Ian's ideas come to him on 'reference gathering' walks during which he takes photographs and makes drawings. He then uses a computer to create the final digital drawings for these 'Linescape' prints.

Working in his studio in Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, he strips back his designs, simplifying the landscape using flat colour to capture the essence of a place.

Ian draws by hand using a stylus pen and graphics software, well suited to create the smooth, lines and distilled shapes that characterise his work, reminiscent of Art Deco travel posters and Modernist design styles from the early 20th century. "Using my original sketches and photographs, I refine and reduce the source material down to minimalist forms and shapes. Discarding clutter and using artistic licence as I go."

Ian's early works were concerned with representation of 'natural' landscapes but over time he has become increasingly interested in the human-made. He has been drawn to large-scale, modern infrastructure such as motorways, harbours and coastal defences. Water is another key theme in Ian's images, whether it is the North Sea shaping the Yorkshire coastline or the powerful masses of water held in our reservoirs.

For his latest work, made especially for this exhibition, Ian chose a location within the Harrogate district. Just 11 miles from Harrogate and sitting on the edge of the moors, Thruscross reservoir is a tranquil, enigmatic place - often referred to as West End, the name of the village which is concealed within its depths.

Some examples of Ian's work

There are tensions in Ian's work - between the built environment and the natural world, between abstraction and place-specific record, between objective analysis and subjective response.

He invites us to reflect on our own interactions with nature and the unique role it plays in shaping our lives.

Page last updated 06/03/2019