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Shadowy figures

  • Courtesy Photo—

  • Peterborough artist Jessie Pollock unveils her new collection Still Point: Thin Places. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Peterborough artist Jessie Pollock unveils her new collection Still Point: Thin Places. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce

  • Peterborough artist Jessie Pollock unveils her new collection Still Point: Thin Places. Staff photo by Meghan Pierce



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, September 05, 2018 5:4PM

Peterborough artist Jessie Pollock says she felt an almost ethereal feeling standing on the cliffs of An Ben Buie during a recent trip to Ireland; a trip that inspired her latest series of paintings “Still Point: Thin Places.”

“Thin Places” is an ancient Celtic term for places where there is so little space between the heaven and the earth the two seem to meet. “Still Point” from a T.S. Elliot poem that touches on the subject as well.

“It means the same thing. ‘Still Point’ is about, between life and death there is a still point,” Pollock said. “You sort of see forward and see backwards. You are neither here nor there, but it’s everything. It’s so hard to describe.”

Pollock said she often finds inspiration in her travels. This time she visited an artist’s colony in a remote area of Ireland.

“I did the drawings while I was there. I was there for nine days at an arts center,” Pollock said. “It was sort of like a little mini-MacDowell, a mini-residency.”

She had no idea at the time that she was visiting a “Thin Place,” until after she had left, Pollock said, but she was deeply moved by the experience.

“I travel a bit, I go to Italy, this trip was to Ireland, the cliffs of Ireland. I just fell in love with it and got more into texture,” Pollock said.

She was inspired by the elements and capturing the texture of the stones and moss and sky, but on this recent trip to Ireland there was an intangible element she wanted to capture as well.

“I had this experience, it’s hard to explain. There are places, in Scotland and Ireland they believe there are spaces on the earth where the heavens and the earth are very close together. I had never heard of it until I went there. I had an almost religious experience where I felt everything. I felt everyone, everything. And I was right at the edge of the this cliff in Ireland with nothing but the Atlantic Ocean in front of me,” Pollock said. “I came home with these drawings with people emerging from the atmosphere.”

The series includes both “atmospheric landscapes” and “figures emerging,” she said.

“Still Point: Thin Places” will be on display at the Granite Town Gallery in Milford from Friday through Oct. 15.

“It’s a contemporary art gallery, which is very unusual up here,” Pollock said. “I haven’t always been contemporary. I did study with Numael Pulido in Hancock and he’s a very well known teacher in the area. So I studied Renaissance, realistic painting.”

Pollock said through the years her art has evolved and moved into contemporary.

“I feel when you’ve painted for 40, 45 years you just grow, change and grow. And are less interested in reproducing a replica of something,” Pollock said. “I believe you have to learn all the rules before you break them.”

Pollock’s last show was at Saint-Gaudens in Cornish in 2012.

“That was a big show, they only do three a year,” she said.

She also sells her work through her gallery West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park in Stowe, Vermont.

“Still Point: Thin Places” is opening Friday at Granite Town Gallery located at 42 South Street, Suite 4, in Milford. Hancock artist Evelien Bachrach’s show “Monotypes & Paintings” and Milford artist William C. Turner’s show “Relics of the Woods” are also opening at Granite Town Gallery on Friday.

The opening reception is planned for 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

You can go to www.granitetowngallery.com for more information.