The Natural World: Brian Sinfield Gallery, Burford

1 - 28 February 2022

Elaine Kazimierczuk’s semi-abstract paintings are rich with high colour, addressing the vibrancy of the natural environment. Whether her subject is an English country garden, a wildflower meadow or a rainforest, her unique style is both inventive and arousing, betraying an obvious delight in the living world. 


Kazimierczuk’s work is spontaneous, anarchic and crammed with her own vocabulary of highly idiosyncratic motifs. Vibrant hues, patterns and repeated stylised marks often create a mesmeric effect. The larger works are especially immersive, allowing the eye to wander leisurely over the scene and then alight on an area busy with detail before moving off to some other part of the work. The eye never takes the same journey twice. Often the work is pretty and playful as in a drift of wild flowers in a summer meadow, whilst in contrast, a dense shady woodland is evoked with deeply expressive intensity.  She expresses her emotions through the act of painting, bringing her presence to the work, but in what must be the collaborative act of enjoying a work of art, the viewer’s perception is the final element. Jackson Pollock said ‘abstract painting confronts you’ and whilst her work may not strike you immediately as ‘confrontational’, it has the power to make lasting impressions.  


Elaine explains: “Being self-taught, allows me unbounded freedom. Since I’ve never had any formal training on ‘how to do it’, I’m not constrained by notions of breaking rules and therefore I can make it up as I go along, adapting my approach to the subject matter. I don’t think anyone else paints like me. That’s not to say I don’t study technique or look at the work of other artists – I do, and steal their ideas. All artists do that, but of course it’s always entirely new by the time we create our own response. My ‘Meadow Dreaming’ and ‘Garden Dreaming’ were made after seeing a National Museum of Australia exhibition of First People art; I looked at the rhythm and pattern used by the Australian artists as a narrative means of expression and wanted to explore this in my own work.


All my works are inspired by and based on specific locations and yet through abstraction they become generic and hence viewers can tap into the spirit of place. I travel all over the UK to visit particular locations – a wildflower meadow maybe, or a certain woodland. My latest love affair is with the lush vegetation of temperate rainforest – we have remnants of this rare biome in the west of the UK. Whilst there, I absorb the essence of such enchanting places; this is what drives me to paint.  And I am driven. I do sometimes paint en plein air, but to make large pieces outdoors would require an expedition and, as they say, you can’t get the staff. 


There are strong abstract expressionist forces at work in my practice. My work is predicated on a love of the environment, but like all painting, essentially, it’s all about ‘what paint can do’, as Frank Bowling has said.  Like Bowling, I’m promiscuous in my mark making, allowing oil paint, along with a variety of other media,  including fluorescent acrylics, viscous oils, gels and even gold leaf, to do their work – to drip, dribble, glimmer and glow. I feel a strong emotional connection to the living world, and plants in particular, so naturally, I gravitate to this as subject matter for my practice.  My wish is to communicate the subject I love best - the natural world, using the medium I love best – paint.”