2013 by Morag Donkin
Edinburgh College of Art Degree Show 2013; http://www.moragdonkin.co.uk
Donkin’s work explores the subject of landscape in a new and exciting way, no mean feat for a painter. Her compositional images come from photographs taken on local walks around Edinburgh, though for her paintings Donkin is concerned with drawing out the unnerving qualities an empty landscape can possess. The ghostly feeling of anticipation, or indeed the feeing that we have come to a scene too late, creeps up on us as we view Donkin’s painting, leaving an uncertain pang as we feel the presence of action missed. The sky in Tyninghame Woods is unsettled with inky jets of darkness, cracked veins that worm through the open space between ominous rolling clouds. Colour is uncomfortable, lurid in places and brightly unnatural, as if the wind that catches these grasses has set them alight with the energy of its howling. The quality of the paint contributes to this brilliance: translucent, as if washed out, the scene appears as if caught in a flash of lightning. It is little wonder that Donkin is inspired by horror film imagery, where the landscape of victims is exploited in a pathetic fallacy. Donkin’s landscapes possess this strength of narrative, where the scene is more poignant than the characters and we are left with an eerie feeling that cannot be put into words.