Stefan Orlowski at the Brewery Arts Centre

Fire and Firmament - New British Landscape

The Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal is held in high regard by the local community - it spans cinema screens, a theatre, puts on gigs of touring artists and as well as offering food and drink houses the Sugar Store Gallery on the first floor. The rooms are typical of converted loft space, exposed beams but with modern skylights adding a generous natural illumination; ideal for many of Stefan Orlowski's oils and works on paper. 

The Place Beyond the Priory by Stefan Orlowski

Upon climbing the stairs two of the boldest pieces are in immediate view. Both are marked with purple, not unlike a lens flair or some other digital trick of the light but it is the glow of the sun and the light of his skies that really make these images come alive. They are attractively framed in light wood and measure each a little under a metre square making them very appealing to a domestic setting. 

A previous winner of the Lynn Painters Stainers Prize and with a Masters from Wimbledon, Orlowski is better known for his portraiture but here the entire show is a collection of new works in nature. He chooses to paint from life, not photographs and is currently engaged in trying to find the happy medium of alternate painterly styles. He is not merely wanting to add darkness to a pastoral scene, it isn't so much a visual idyl as an attempt to merge applications of paint in a contrasting  fashion. 

For some time now it is this middle ground of handling the material with technical skill and gestural fluid ease that has occupied him. He has cited Peter Doig as a major influence and in spanning works with oil on canvas, on paper, aluminium and board you can see there is no waning of his enthusiasm to try to match that mystical mid-ground. 

The show spans much of the summer holidays and with the influx of tourists the Lake District experiences, Kendal should be a great way to expose this painter to a wider audience. What you can expect to see, in the artist's own words, "Painting should act as a summary condensation of personal interests and the thoughts and feelings aroused by them." until August 21st