Rational Expressions

Dawn Reader


Chelsea School of Art, London, England
M.A., Public Art and Design, San Marco, Venice, Italy
Dawn Reader is based in London, England.

Dawn has work published by International Graphics in Germany. She has worked in theatre and film, most notably for the BBC and the National Theatre, and has had work featured on Channel 4 Television. Her work has also been shown in Elle Decoration, House & Garden and Homes & Gardens magazines.

”Having long been drawn to the Atlantic, Baltic and North seas, I began to wonder what it would be like to go further north where the oceans are covered in ice and the ground is frosted over. So in the summer of 2009, I took my first trip to the Arctic, returning in early 2010 with a visit to Iceland. I probed every angle: sketching at a distance from the deck of our polar vessel, zooming in close on a zodiac, and donning crampons to hike across glaciers, exploring the ice caves below.

I was blown away by the landscape; it is lonely, bleak, craggy and treacherous – but also somehow majestic and free and beautiful. It is these qualities I have tried to capture in my paintings, simplifying and softening the topography and using a limited and somewhat muted palette to convey the stillness and tranquillity I found there.

But to reflect the light – the surreal quality of the midnight sun – I have used handmade translucent glazes, building layers of colour and structure. My use of light and dark naturally brings depth and perspective, but it also emphasises the force and power in creation.

Painting ice has been a complete departure for me, and I have loved the challenge. I hope that, through my work, I manage not only to convey the immense unspoiled beauty of the Arctic, but also to raise awareness of the need for its preservation”.

Reproduced with permission from the artist.