meet THE ARTIST
Trudy Montgomery’s large, vibrant paintings are a window into the joyful essence of being. With an intuitive sense of colour and a desire to encode the metaphysical, Trudy seeks to express the essence of spirit —of Self or of place —in her abstract canvases, photographs and prints.
Working from a meditative state of action, Trudy uses the possibilities of paint to convey in the abstract what is, so often, inexpressible in words. She draws inspiration from her travels, both inner and other, and sees her work as inner landscapes depicting the unseen.
Trudy’s tendency towards intense vibrating colour, often on an immersive scale, is influenced by the light and space of both the Californian coast, where she lived for 14 years, and the idyllic corner of the UK’s West Cornwall’s Penwith peninsula, where she now lives. Her work has been exhibited in London, Dubai, Los Angeles and Berlin.
“The abstract is often the purest form for me to express the inexpressible”
Georgia O’Keefe, American artist.
For me, this holds true. Abstraction defies our often compulsive urge to identify, label and describe everything we see in an attempt to ‘know’ it as a way to eliminate uncertainty and doubt. And yet, life is ultimately unknowable, and its very mystery is what makes it so magical.
And yet, in the studio, I experience the unknowable through colours and through felt energy. I am fascinated by the power of vibrating colours and their working upon the subconscious.
In the formative period where I became a painter, I spent 14 years in California where the light and space of the West coast infused my work. Stimulated by the creative spirit and freedom of expression I found there, I started to use pure, bold colour against the backdrop of intensely blue skies and spacious landscapes.
This is encapsulated in the Union series, a reference to yoga and its sanskrit meaning to join or unite our ego-self with our divine Self or infinite Spirit. In the search for a dynamic balance and harmony between opposing forces, these paintings reference action and quiet reflection.
In early 2012, I was accepted onto an artist residency at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India. My stay there inspired the Yantra series, which are delicate paintings on silk representing the mystic geometric symbols dedicated to the ten Mahavidyas or Wisdom Goddesses in the Tantric tradition. Yantras are still used in devotional worship today and the creation of every new yantra is seen as a consecration of metaphysical space. On returning to California, I found myself making the Sacred Geometry paintings, which symbolise strands of wisdom received on the intuitive plane, beyond thought patterns.
Returning to my roots in the UK later that same year, I felt a new sense of belonging. The scale of my canvases increased and my palette retained the colours and vibrancy of the Californian west coast. The work also transitioned from replicating and abstracting the surface of the landscape to a deeper expression of the energetics of the land itself.
My series of Meditations emerged after a second visit to India in 2015 and, specifically, to the holy mountain of Arunachala in Tamil Nadu. These pristine landscapes with clear depths can be read as spiritual landscapes offering a sense of the purity and refinement of the land untouched by human contact.
I have recently created a new body of work, The Mothers & The Daughters, which are the offspring of paintings made while I was pregnant, a highly creative time. While derivative of the parent works on canvas, these digital c-prints on aluminium offer a kaleidoscopic symmetry and are an extension of my interest in sacred geometry and the consecration of metaphysical space in religious and spiritual traditions. I am currently developing Constellations, as a second series of digital c-prints, based on earlier etchings.
Far from abandoning paint, I continue to weave the interlacing threads that first appeared in the 2012 Sacred Geometry series (made while I was living in Los Angeles) with the current Links paintings. As I explore the connection between all life, I am receiving a deeper experience of the unknowable through colour and felt energy.