Even Nature has its Price is an exhibition from street artists ATM and Jacqueline de Montaigne. Both well known for their paintings of birds and the natural world, the show blends both of their styles together. The result on the walls of the Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich is a celebration of nature and also a warning as to its fragile existence.
Both artists are well known for their work on the street. Jacqueline de Montaigne is an Anglo-Portuguese painter whose work can particularly be found in Portugal. We actually first met in Lisbon two years ago. Spotted whilst painting a pair of swallows on a wall near the station. Swallows of course would be a regular sight on their migratory journey through the city. Excitingly it is this meeting that then appears to have kick started what would result in ‘Even Nature has its Price‘. The similarity in terms of intention behind the work seemed be too obvious and we introduced her to the work of ATM.
The Natural World
Jacqueline’s nature inspired style will often blend delicate portraiture with elements from the natural world. The two are often fused showing an interconnectivity. Within many the depiction of a circle or halo will surround them. Further symbolism perhaps that we are all part of the same world. Everything indeed is interconnected. Her use of gold further marks out what she might paint as precious.
ATM is of course an artist we know well. His murals, particularly of endangered birds, have been appearing around towns and cities across the UK for years. Often focused on the local area, each painting will have a connection to the space. Either it was once native and has now been forced out or it’s in danger or even extinct. Either way the painting raises the questions about nature in a given space.
Even Nature Has Its Price
Many of ATM’s paintings in the exhibition features work on banknotes. The perfect metaphor he says for the relationships between money and environmental destruction. “From the felling of ancient forests to the insidious overuse of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Making money all the way without concern for the environmental costs to land, river and sea, nature is under threat as never before”. This is a subject on which ATM has sought to raise awareness of for years.
Combining at the Ben Oakley Gallery is the perfect place. The purposely exposed walls of the gallery present the perfect backdrop. It allows for the work to stand out and the blend in styles to be noticed. In many ways the seemingly decaying walls could well be a metaphor. One which mirrors the challenges facing the environment today
Even Nature has its Price is an exhibition by ATM and Jacqueline de Montaigne at the Ben Oakley Gallery in Greenwich. It runs from 16-31 October 2021.
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