Press Office


Mary Webb: Journeys in Colour


Artist Mary Webb, a graduate of Fine Art at Newcastle University, is back in the region to display her work at Hatton Gallery.

Inspired by travel and landscape, Journeys in Colour celebrates Webb’s work from 1967 in relation to the modernist tradition through painting, print and collage, as well as material from Mary Webb’s archive.

Webb studied under Richard Hamilton and Victor Pasmore at NewcastleUniversity in the late 1950s/early 1960s, before embarking on a career as an artist and teacher.

First shown in 2011 at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts close to her Suffolk home, the exhibition at Hatton Gallery will show a slightly different selection and include more than 60 paintings, prints, drawings and collages.
Julie Milne, Chief Curator of ArtGalleries says: “We are delighted to be showing Mary Webb's work. As well as being an important artist it is appropriate that as a graduate of Newcastle University’s Fine Art department her work is exhibited in the beautiful Hatton Gallery.”
Mary Webb’s work is abstract and striking with most of the designs composed of squares and rectangles using a bold palette of colours.  Colour is evenly applied within each section and the shape of her work is always square.
She has the sensibility of a landscapist, with much of her work produced as reflections on her travels, naming her works after the places that inspired them.  Her most recent series of works relate to a trip to Utah in the USA. Other localities that form the basis and titles for works in the exhibition include Corsica, Crete, Manhattan, Russia, San Luis, and San Filippo.  Other works relate to places closer to where she lives such as Dunwich, in Suffolk , and Brancaster, in Norfolk.
Commenting about her work, Mary Webb says: “Colour is my main concern, and the emotional and spatial sensations it can evoke, frequently linked to the memory of place.  From quite early on I wanted to see what one could do with colour on its own.  I like making two or more colours work very hard together to make a lot of things happen.  At the same time there are a great number of things I wish to avoid, one the hardest is avoiding having a centre, or part of the picture that claims attention more than the rest.
“Rather I want the colour to set up a process of renewal where relationships change with the looking. First assumptions are confounded the longer the painting is contemplated and this is how I like to think of them, as objects of contemplation.”
Mary Webb studied in the Department of Fine Art at Newcastle University from 1958 to 1963.  She then took a postgraduate course at Chelsea School of Art from 1963 to 1964 before teaching at Harrogate for two years.  From 1966 until 1990, Webb taught painting at Norwich University College of the Arts (then known as Norwich School of Art).  Mary Webb met Sonia Delaunay in Paris during the 1960s and cites her as an influence.
Mary Webb: Journeys in Colour will be on show until 13 Febraury 2013. it is organised in association with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Art, University of East Anglia.
Hatton Gallery, The Quadrangle, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU. Tel: (0191) 208 6059.  Free entry. Open: Monday to Saturday 10am – 5pm.


Notes to Editor:
Writing in the Observer, art critic Tim Hilton described Mary Webb as “a little known but treasurable artist”.

Press release courtesy of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

Image: Utah by Mary Webb.

published on: 7 December 2012