The Dream World of Nicky Gurret and Sorgel
The current exhibition at Gallery OneSeventeen is one of considerable contrasts.
Both Nicky Gurret and Sorgel depict Bermuda, but the latter’s paintings show the island through the eyes of a fantasist; Gurret’s oil and acrylic paintings are largely abstracted land and seascapes. What both have in common is that their works are colourful.
I have referred to Gurret’s abstracts as land and seascapes because her circulating and serpentine areas of contrasting colours seem to indicate both the sea and the land; a few are abstracted to the point of pure abstraction.
Abstract is an interesting term. Originally it meant, among other things, a drawing away or removal from something, implying a simplification of whatever.
Today, it is often thought of as something apart from that which we see with our eyes. But when it comes to art, we really cannot get completely away from the real world. I have often said that all art is, to a degree, abstract and all abstracts are, to a degree, realistic.
No matter how detailed a work of art is, the artist has had to simplify that which they are depicting. The real world is far too complex to be able to paint every minute detail. Even with so-called non-objective art, the shapes and colours always relate to something in the real world, or how we perceive it.
Gurret’s abstracts are somewhere between abstraction and the scene being pictured. At the same time, her works convey a sense of motion and speed, often a considerable depth as if we are moving through the landscape or across the sea.
Sorgel is not new to the Bermuda art scene, but may be new to the general public. He first came here in 2015 and became a participant with the plein air group and then exhibited with Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. He comes from France.
Sorgel’s paintings, as indicated, depict Bermuda as a fantasy world, where humans, animals and inanimate objects levitate and even sailboats fly through the air. Still, most of his whimsical Bermuda scenes are identifiable as to location, such as Church Street, Heyl’s Corner, Coral Beach Club and Town Square, St George. His colours are also what we might call, Bermuda colours — pink and sky blue. Even in the few instances where I was unable to figure out the location, there was still indications that said Bermuda, such as a Bermuda roof or a Bermuda flag.
This is a fun exhibition, a happy show and one most will enjoy.
• The Dream World of Nicky Gurret and Sorgel runs through Saturday at Gallery OneSeventeen, 117 Front Street