Review: Contours in Colour / Alan Cotton

Photo taken by Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery.

Being whisked away from the dreary streets of Exeter to witness an early morning on Venice's canal has never been easier. Whether your travels take you to the Peaks of Everest or the rocks of Hartland Quay, Alan Cotton captured the earth in paint for your viewing at Exeter's Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) this October. The white walls of Gallery 21 were brought to life with a range of landscapes from all over the world and they were in the city centre for no cost until it became time to face November.

Alan Cotton's method of forming these images with painting knives allows his various paintings to emerge from their frame helping compliment the sharpness of a cliff face or the softness of a reflection on water. Walking in, the sound of waves crashing against a shore gives the impression that you've made a wrong turning and ended up in a beach exhibit. It took me a second or two to pinpoint the source of the sound; a video of Cotton set on loop in the corner of the room. He sits contently on a cliff top illustrating how he likes to capture the coastline in his paintings.

Whether you believe a painting can make you feel something or not, Alan Cotton's exhibition left me with an appreciation for art. The pinks and blues of a slowly setting sun or the black and burgundy combination of a blackberry bush have the clear style of Cotton, yet each one differs in it's own way with colour schemes that adapt from piece to piece. I find it difficult to critisice something that I would not be capable of completing myself. Cotton's work left me with an urge to paint and respect for those who do it well. It feels comforting to appreciate the art of others, in whatever way they've expressed themselves, whether it's through paint or words. Cotton's Contours in Colour allows you to do just that.

Autumn at Eden

In primary school it wasn't often that we embarked on a school trip that wasn't to the Eden Project. Visiting it again after quite some time made me feel like I was seven years old again. I can remember running through the Rainforest Biome with my jumper tied around my waist, a forehead damp with sweat and a gappy grin plastered on my face thanks to a recent visit from the tooth fairy. The red cylinder of spikes that are classed as a plant in the picture below is actually the plant I picked to draw for my final art work piece in year 4. I have absolutely no clue what it is called but I didn't want to be like the other girls in my class sketching out pretty pink petals. The red spiky stick would do me nicely.

Nowadays, the jungle of plants at Eden look exactly how I remembered them. I, on the other hand, am probably a bit taller and the gappy grin is a lot more full thanks to numerous dreaded trips to the lair of the Orthodontist. Here are a collection of photographs taken on my more recent stroll amongst the plants.