meet THE ARTIST
Joyful and uplifting, Trudy Montgomery’s vibrant paintings portray an active vitality and freedom of spirit. Working from a meditative state of action, she uses the possibilities of paint to convey in the abstract what is, so often, inexpressible via words.
Trudy Montgomery is one of the next generation of artists in Cornwall whose work is part of a direct line of British expressionist painting which has its roots in the ground-breaking abstraction of artists such as Patrick Heron and Peter Lanyon.
Recently returned to the UK after fourteen years in California, Trudy now lives and works in an idyllic corner of West Cornwall. Her tendency towards pure, bold colour on an immersive scale is influenced by the light and space of both the Californian and Cornish coast and the artist’s own spiritual landscape.
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.
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 bold vivid colours 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.
In 2017, I completed a new series of work, The Mothers & The Daughters, the offspring of original abstract paintings created while I was pregnant. While derivative of the parent works on canvas and in the same vivid palette, these kaleidoscope photographs on aluminium offer a symmetry and mysticism that evokes a sense of being at the threshold of another realm. I am currently developing Constellations, a second series of digital kaliedoscope photographs.
Far from abandoning paint, I continue to make new paintings in the Links series, in which I explore the interconnections between us. As I come to see how all of life is connected, it is possible that our every thought, word and deed has an impact on every other living being, and on the Earth herself.