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On Reflection

Private View Saturday 8th January 2005 noon - 5.00pm
Wine served - All Works for Sale
Exibition Finishes Sunday 30th January 2005

Where enquiries of prices are made on the gallery, the work is subject to availability and the price to change.

"River Walk" Oil on Canvas 71 x 90cm


Margot Noyes - On Reflection

Her mother's interest in painting and the encouragement of Oriel Scott, an inspired art teacher at Fulham County Grammar School, combined to convince Margot Noyes that her future lay In the sphere of art. This conviction was reinforced when she attended portrait classes tutored by the distinguished painter Dennis Gilbert.

Heroes at this stage were J M W Turner - a lasting passion - and Corot. In view of these enthusiasms it was fortunate that the art school she attended was Camberwell. Here, her principal mentor at foundation level (then called Intermediate) was Joe Dixon, whose Instinctive awareness of the strengths and potential of his students was legendary.

The progression to Camberwell's painting school in 1958 exposed Noyes to a wide range of teaching influence, but her main sources of guidance were Anthony Eyton­later to be a Royal Academician - and Dick Lee. Many decades later, echoes of both remain discernible.

During the 1950s the work of the Impressionists, then little known outside artistic circles, was being rediscovered and hungrily explored by art students. Thus Noyes' enthusiasms were extended from Corot's verdant landscapes to embrace those of Allred Sisley, and the drawings of Degas. Other artists avidly studied included Pierre Bonnard, Dora Carrington and Gwen John, whose influence can be sensed in her work with a feeling of assimilation rather than imitation.

Noyes combined a substantial output of painting with part-time teaching following her marriage to fellow student Leo Austin In 1960, the programme soon having to be balanced against the demands of motherhood. She nonetheless took part in several mixed exhibitions featuring Hammersmith and Fulham artists and mounted her first solo exhibition in 1970.

Profound change came In 1974 when Noyes and Leo Austin moved to an idyllic but isolated cottage next to Wenhaston marsh in Suffolk. Life at Marsh Cottage provided enduring visual elements - clear light, water, reflections, reedbeds, trees and fields ­and Noyes remained there for more than twenty years, despite the early departure of Austin.

The Wenhaston years saw several distinct phases of Noyes' painting: the 'cyclists' series - evolved during a period when she and Austin lubricated their lean cash-flow with a cycle hire business - and a series of portraits produced for 1V productions (one of Sir Alec Guinness was shown at the RA). Additionally there were some intensely personal double-image paintings, not shown in this exhibition, in which familiar landscapes are inhabited by hall-seen spectral presences. During this period Noyes had three solo exhibitions in London and several in East Anglia. In 1990 she was a founder member of The Suffolk Group, with whom she has been a regular exhibitor.

In 1995 Noyes abandoned the haunting isolation of Wenhaston for the practicalities (including a larger studio) of nearby Halesworth, where work has continued with new impetus provided by the urban environment.

This exhibition celebrates the work of a serious and focused artist almost mystically in tune with her surroundings, with an ability to present observations and emotional response firmly underpinned by rigorous early training.

September 2004
Richard Scott

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