Watercolour is sly – it appears to be one thing but is also another.
Through its shifting and lucid quality watercolour is capable of being both playful and sublime – from leaving the most simple and ephemeral of marks, to building the deepest layers of complexity.
Watercolour has been relegated to the sidelines – the favourite of hobbyists or a sketching tool for painters. And, save Prince Charles and a handful of others, watercolour has not been considered terribly serious. As a result there is a certain lively and carefree easiness attached to the medium. However, watercolour is one of the most difficult paints to work with – having permanence in that mistakes cannot be painted over, and simultaneously the vulnerable impermanence that it can be completely altered, even once dry, by a drop of water.
The exhibition Leisure Paintings hopes to see what some artists make when asked to use a box of watercolours and perhaps consider its conflicting qualities on a breezy summer afternoon.