The Paper Boat by Kerry Darlington

January 25, 2019

The Paper Boat by Kerry Darlington

With the idiom that she paints all of what she can’t see and only a little of what she can, its unsurprising that a rich series of intricate portrait works first came to the artist, Kerry Darlington in a dream. Intensely detailed studies, the works further progress the enduring theme in Darlington’s works of the symbolic connection between female beauty, nature and the spirit. Life-givers and nurturers, each woman is painted upon bare wood with grain and knot left exposed. Raw and authentic, some are decorated in feathers, leaves and flowers; emblems of the earth. In contrast other compositions introduce the philosophies of humanity in the formation of fragile origami sculptures.

Delicate and involved, every painting takes some months to complete; these extraordinary portraits will especially appeal to collectors of the beloved and enduring Pre-Raphaelite series. Until now, only released as original paintings and produced into small boutique editions of just 15 exclusively available at Wyecliffe Galleries, it is with great excitement we unveil the first unique edition from the series to be made available internationally.

Developing the series forward from petitely scaled intimate portrayals from the shoulders and above, The Paper Boat unique edition proclaims a broader ambition and milestone in the significance of this new genre in her work. Remaining a very limited number of pieces at just 95 in total, the artist has retained significant exclusivity around this new release. Darlington’s new muse is a windswept vision, her brunette hair gracefully drifting in the breeze. Pinned lightly on one side with shell and pearls, this young woman is dressed in the oceans of the world. Highlighting the purity of her translucent skin, the warmth of the nude wood below is visually arresting. Gazing at an origami boat which is delicately cradled in both hands held above the swirling sea, miniature tall ships weave amongst the waves below.

Origami, the evocative Japanese word and practice literally meaning to fold paper, the artist feels a resonance to the sentiment;

I felt a connection with Origami and the fragility of the paper, how over the years I have fashioned paper into all manner of things, by making art upon it.
And so I have put the two concepts together which have resulted in my painting several figures with their Origami counterparts, upon bare wood which complements the fragile nature of the pieces”

- Kerry Darlington

Historically expensive to acquire; in the 1st Century paper was only used in exceptional circumstances such as for ceremonial purposes, reflecting the valuable nature of every sheet or roll. In reverence to her material and in acknowledgement of years of priming every board with transparent tissue paper or being the surface on which to work, Darlington presents folded cranes and paper boats as special tokens to be cherished once again. The paper cranes hold special symbology for this Valentine’s Day release with the legend that those who labour to make a thousand of these iconic birds will have their souls wish granted. With pure white sheets blowing in the wind yet to be folded, future emblems of love, fidelity and happiness are soon to be born.

With the new edition featuring a sacred vessel about to be sent into the water, it carries hopes and longing; perhaps seeking home or a lost memory. Bittersweet in nature, to truly feel love and contentment, often one must also know what it is to be without these fortunes. Matters of the heart are the very essence of these incredible portraits; with contemplation in mind, Kerry Darlington describes the influence of ‘hiraeth’ on her practice. A Welsh term without direct translation, it is a word designed to evoke the emotion of nostalgia, and to missing something. Be that a place, an era or a person, it describes the internal ache of being apart from your heart’s desire, even temporarily. Bringing together philosophies from cultures both East and West, the resulting depiction is a testament to spiritual harmony and inner equilibrium.

With the new edition featuring a sacred vessel about to be sent into the water, it carries hopes and longing; perhaps seeking home or a lost memory. Bittersweet in nature, to truly feel love and contentment, often one must also know what it is to be without these fortunes. Matters of the heart are the very essence of these incredible portraits; with contemplation in mind, Kerry Darlington describes the influence of ‘hiraeth’ on her practice. A Welsh term without direct translation, it is a word designed to evoke the emotion of nostalgia, and to missing something. Be that a place, an era or a person, it describes the internal ache of being apart from your heart’s desire, even temporarily. Bringing together philosophies from cultures both East and West, the resulting depiction is a testament to spiritual harmony and inner equilibrium.

Modern-day allegories, original works are highly sought after, rarely come to market having sold before the paint has dried. Boutique editions such as The Swan Princess and Embracing Silence have introduced new collectors to Darlington’s incredible magical world, as well as expanded her beloved mythology to those who have followed her work for years.

Pre-Orders are now open to purchase ‘The Paper Boat’. With limited numbers available, be quick to select your edition number and preferred choice of frame With Wyecliffe Galleries. Complimentary delivery via courier to the UK mainland is guaranteed to arrive in time for Thursday 14th February 2019.






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