Every year The Pastel Society invites a contemporary pastel artist they admire to exhibit alongside the members. This year they have invited Mark Cazalet who is exhibiting his piece Night Watch 3.

He tells us a little about his working methods:

“My images all start as encounters in front of nature, site-specific responses, each with their own peculiarities of light, spatial depth and atmosphere. I think of them as resonances, like waves in a ripple tank reflecting off the sides creating a dynamic gestalt movement across the surface of the paper.

Resonance is defined as the sound which is produced by an object when it vibrates at the same rate as the sound waves from another object.

Colour reverberates for me through the interaction of complementary effects, harmonies or in variation of intensity and tone. Colours placed adjacently are spatial, this depth is woven with the flat patterns of design.

To play with chromatics in this way is lyrical like setting a song or uttering a psalm. It can also be seen theologically as making a visible sign of inward transitions in perception, which are endlessly shifting and deepening. Andrew Marvell put it better in his 17th century poem The Garden, where our consciousness is transfigured by the power behind nature to a green thought in a green shade, an effect I aspire for my work to induce, similar to the sense of metanoia being a turning towards light.

I trained in Cornwall, then Paris and India on postgraduate scholarships. Each place changed my working processes and references and I am indebted to each specific environment I have lived in. Recently I had a five-week sabbatical in Kyoto drawing in the stroll and Zen gardens. The impact of this experience has yet to work its way out but another shift is coming.”

Night Watch 3 will be on display as part of The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2020 from 5 to 16 February.

View the whole exhibition online now