Heather Defferary Painting

pixel_white_440The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web. That is why we must not discriminate between things. Where things are concerned there are no class distinctions. We must pick out what is good for us where we can find it-except from our own works. I have a horror of copying myself. But when I am shown a portfolio of old drawings, for instance, I have no qualms about taking anything I want from them.

  When we invented cubism we had no intention whatsoever of inventing cubism. We wanted simply to express what was in us. Not one of us drew up a plan of campaign, and our friends, the poets, followed our efforts attentively, but they never dictated to us. Young painters today often draw up a programme to follow, and apply themselves like diligent students to performing their tasks.

  It’s not what the artist does that counts, but what he is. Cezanne would never have interested me a bit if he had lived and thought like Jacques Emile Blanche even if the apple he painted had been ten times as beautiful. What forces our interest is Cezanne’s anxiety – thats Cezanne’s lesson; the torments of Van Gogh — that is the actual drama of the man. The rest is a sham.

Part of a statement by Picasso: 1935

From Picasso: Fifty Years of His Art by Alfred H. Barr,Jnr., copyright 1946 The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and reprinted by permission of the publisher. Christian Zervos put down these remarks of Picasso immediately after a conversation with him at Boisgeloup in 1935. They were first published under the title “Conversation avec Picasso” in Cahiers d’art, 1935, volume 10, number 10. The above translation is based on one by Myfanwy Evans.

Heather Defferary was born in a part of UK known as ‘The Garden of England’, a place of orchards & pasture. Her family grew cherries, apples, hops & sheep grazed beautiful green fields.

Then circumstances changed and she spent the rest of her young life ‘out East’. Total contrasts. The colours, smells and culture of the Far East had a great influence on her.

A very early memory is of going to the market & seeing shops selling pigment. Tall cones almost as tall as herself. Every colour in the world it seemed. Pigments used in such fun ways, powdered colour thrown over crowds of musicians & dancers. Pigments used to paint fantastical designs on massive elephants. Pigments to dye cloth in massive vats, cloth which everyone wore. The waterways ‘striped’ with colour where the vats were emptied.

Travelling through landscapes so exciting,  two seas meeting one green the other turquoise off the northern most tip of North Island New Zealand, flowers of unbelievable size and colours of the jungle, all amazing images to store for use in her practice.

It is no wonder that today her work is inclined  toward an exploration into darkness, into shades of colour and form resulting in a move away from literal points of reference – a trip, a journey into a ‘spaced out’ fantasy world in an imaginary universe – with a touch of magic.

Still today that glorious colour informs & infuses her work. Her most recent work fourteen pieces – ‘From Afar’ (2017) – were inspired by some words by Rabindranath Tagore.

From Afar

“The ‘I’ that floats along the wave of time,
From a distance I watch over him.
With the dust and the water,
with the fruit and the flower,
with the All he is rushing forward.
He is always on the surface,
Tossed by the waves and dancing to the rhythm
of joy and suffering.
The least loss makes him suffer,
the least wound hurts him-
him I see from afar.
That ‘I’ is not my real self;
I am still within myself,
I do not float in the stream of death.
I am free, I am desireless,
I am peace, I am illuminated.

                                            – Rabindranath Tagore