‘I am in inspired by the Romantic notion that the divine is located within raw nature. Lifting organic and ethereal subjects from the natural world, I refine them into a language of elemental motifs. I have an empathy for Eastern philosophical notions of the void, and use textures to give substance and significance to ‘nothingness’. My paintings have a dreamlike quality, slowing time as they elude direct interpretation. In their ambiguity, I look to activate imagination to move us beyond our physical boundaries of human time and space’.
— Hannah Luxton, 2019
Sara Jaspan on Hannah Luxton
‘… Hannah Luxton’s paintings speak a far more elementary, instinctual language rooted in a place of pre-rational understanding. Elegantly refined minimalist shapes (circles, arcs, elongated triangles) radiate a pure aspect of light and energy, whilst surrounding swathes of naked linen canvas connect with the artist’s interest in Eastern philosophical notions of the Void – a sort of supreme nothingness free from illusion; the true basis of reality. Luxton finds her subjects within nature – the sun, the moon, stars, mountain tops, craters and ice caverns – condensing and abstracting each referent into an archetypal version of itself. As such, her practice engages with the Romantic tradition whilst equally reaching much further back in time, finding an emotional kinship with the implicit sense of the sublime perhaps traceable within prehistoric art. This narrative is further enhanced by the animistic currents running through pieces like Numina II (2018) and Constellation (2017), which seem to hint towards a higher spiritual dimension.
As well as dislodging the sublime’s place in art historical time, these elusive paintings also expand upon the Romantic conception of ‘nature’; dissolving the boundary frequently drawn between ‘the natural world’ that surrounds us on Earth and the ‘natural’ sphere of the cosmos. The electric red ring in Crater (2017), for instance, might relate to the molten lava bubbling deep within Mount Etna or Mars’s Olympus Mons. And are the two silvery points in Duo (2016) snowy ice caps or shooting comets? An ethereal quality forms the universal fabric both to the work and all it depicts.’
— Sara Jaspan ‘Of Stars and Chasms: Hannah Luxton & Julie F Hill’ February, 2019
Luxton (b. London 1986) works from her secluded studio within Epping Forest. She graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art MA (2012) and Kingston University, Fine Art BA (2008). Luxton has exhibited widely in London in solo and group exhibitions, including the Drawing Biennial, Drawing Room (2019); Of Stars and Chasms, ArthouSE1 (2019); Blank 100 (solo) (2018); Creekside Open, APT Gallery (2017); and internationally including India, the USA and Iceland. Prizes and awards include the Denton’s Art Prize shortlist (2019); Arts Council England Project Grant (2018); Betty Malcolm Scholarship for Stage and Decorative Painting (2012) and the Painter Stainers Bursary (2011).
Luxton has undertaken many artist residencies - both funded and self initiated - that bring her closer to the geological formations of the natural world from the craters of Mt Etna, Sicily; glaciers and waterfalls of Iceland; to the lakes of the Peak District and the Welsh Mountains. In spring 2019 she will embark on a research trip via road through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and southern California to explore the sublime landscapes of western America. In 2018 she completed a research trip to the north of Iceland, after first discovering the country through The Fljotstunga Travel Farm Residency, Iceland Award in 2015. Previous to this she was awarded the Trelex Residency, Switzerland (2013).