Annette Pugh, The Swing, oil on canvas, 2023

Preview – Annette Pugh

Friday 21 July 2023, 6 – 8pm. Free, all welcome.

Happenstance is an exhibition of newly commissioned oil paintings by Birmingham-based artist Annette Pugh. The works explore traces of human presence in the landscape and the often-emotional connection we have with unpopulated places such as remote lakesides, private ponds or the hidden crevices of public gardens.

Pugh has drawn on an archive of personal photographs of various places taken over many years, selecting disparate images that meld together through the exhibition in their quiet and uncanny beauty. Two large-scale paintings, The Landing Stage and The Swing memorialise fortuitous discoveries made by the artist during walks: a makeshift slipway, an abandoned tree swing. These manmade interventions in the landscape become metaphors for solitude and solace, inanimate stand-ins for the figures that have until now occupied the artist’s paintings.