‘Nothing ever becomes real ‘til it is experienced’ John Ruskin, Romantic English Poet May 1819
Capturing the Visual, Seeking the Spirit
Artizan are pleased to be welcoming back to the gallery, local artist Jim Doran. We first met Jim back in 2017 when we hosted a solo show for him entitled ‘7 Days on Dartmoor’ Work on display was the culmination of a trip that he had taken some 10 years earlier when he had spent 7 days and nights walking the Moor for charity, sketching, painting, and recording in journals what he saw and experienced during that journey.
Dartmoor has continued to fascinate and intrigue Jim and this exhibition will revisit that journey made back in 2007, along with subsequent trips, with new works that explore different aspects of the Moor, and which will be accompanied by a book currently being written.
‘The Colours of Dartmoor’ is the first of two exhibitions that Jim has planned. Works featured will portray various images that although portraying very much what the eye sees, capturing the visual and the characteristics of the Moor, featuring the skies, the high Moor, dawn, and dusk, will also strive to bring out the essence and spirit of the Moor as Jim has experienced it.
‘Three hundred and sixty-eight square miles of wilderness scattered throughout with granite tors, a prison, its own breed of pony and Sherlock Holmes. More than two million people visit Dartmoor each year, a place surrounded by myths, folklore, and legend. Dartmoor! Day-trippers delight or the Devil’s backyard? Well, it’s a tricky one because it’s neither one completely, but rather both at different times. Spend the day on the moor and more than likely you’ll enjoy the stunningly beautiful views in all directions breathe fresh clean air and feel the breeze on your face and go home having had a lovely day on the land. This everyday image of Dartmoor is real enough, but it is nowhere near the full story. The Moor has a Jekyll and Hyde nature, it’s a very strange place, not-withstanding the folklore and mythology, it just feels strange when you’re on it and the longer you stay the stranger it gets!’
Jim has been a practising professional artist on and off for 35 years. Originally from the Northeast, he has won many awards for portraiture and other subject matter during this time and has exhibited extensively. He ran his own gallery in Newcastle for 8 years before moving to Devon and in 2003 completed a BA (Hons) degree in history and media studies. This resulted in Jim being invited to take up teaching and to develop a new art course for Plymouth College of Art and Design, more teaching work followed which took him away for a while from being able to paint full- time but he found it nonetheless rewarding.
Then in 2007 he undertook his walk across Dartmoor while raising money for the NSPCC – ‘it changed my point of view on a lot of different things, and some years later, based on my journal and sketches I had made on Dartmoor, I decided to write and illustrate a book about that adventure.’
We are delighted to be hosting Jim’s second exhibition with us, picking up from where he left off in 2017 showing new works for the first time in this stunning one man show.