Objects of Light
For 50,000 years or more, women worked together in fire lit caves, making pots and paintings. A
new Exhibition in Ely throws a contemporary light on the interplay between the two arts.
Mary Romer first encountered Angela Mellor's glowing white porcelain on a dark winter's
afternoon in Ely. The array of white bowls impressed with marine motifs - seaweed, sand rippled
by tide, ancient rocks, brought back memories of a childhood spent on the shores of the Indian
Ocean. With a small collection of Mellor's pieces installed on her shelves, it was inevitable that
ceramic bowls would slip discreetly into Romer's oil paintings.
The vessels became a metaphor for thoughts and experiences distilled in memory. In the small
intimate paintings featured in this exhibition, in which one form plays against another, the painter
captures these tranquil moments of domestic life, when harmony prevails. Angular shapes,
suggesting the elements of a traditional still life - bowls, jugs, platters, here become contemporary
symbols of 'hearth and home'.
Some of the details and colours in these works are Romer's response to Italian Renaissance
frescos. In Fra Angelico's 'Annunciation' there appears a small urn with white lilies, set between
the angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, In the buildings painted by Masaccio, there are baskets of
bread on window sills, terracotta flowerpots, linen hanging out and perhaps a cat curled asleep,
providing a homely counterpart to the portrayals of St. Peter and the disciples below. These
small and seemingly insignificant details give expressions to the intimacy shared by human
beings within their homes and everyday lives.
The painter has enriched this distillation of everyday life with a warm colour palette, echoing the
past, while neatly complementing the cool translucent ceramics, created by Mellor.
'Objects of Light'
Angela Mellor Gallery
38a St Mary's Street, Ely, Cambridgeshire CB7 4ES
Open Weekends: 30Nov/1Dec, 7Dec/8Dec, 14Dec/15Dec
10.30 - 5pm
Telephone: 01353 666675
Mary Romer, 'Small Vessel', Oil on canvas, 40 x 40cm