May 13th 1994 Ham & high Review, “Water Land Under the Microscope”

THE Highgate Gallery in the Literary and Scientific Institution in South Grove. Highgate, is the newest and most spacious – area for exhibition in the village.


The Institution has been an arts and education center for more than 150 years and now, in the Victoria Hall, there are architect -designed screens which fit over the permanent collection of local watercolors and prints when shows are being held. There is low-level purpose-built spotlighting and a new glass lantern for natural lighting.


One-person or group shows may be booked for a low rental and no commission. Details from administrator Jane Aitkin. HLSI, II South Grove. Highgate. 081 340 3343


The first exhibition, until May 22. is Layers of Meaning, paintings and drawings since 1986 by Rhonda Whitehead, who also teaches at the Institution. She works in oil, acrylic and watercolor, inspired by the watery wastes of Norfolk. She lives in
Swains Lane. Highgate but also has .1 home in Mendham, which straddles the Norfolk/Suffolk border.
She has long been drawn to East Anglia’s flat fields and skyscapes. Now she takes her camera to the water and. sometimes using a zoom lens, photographs the perpetual motion below the surface She interprets these movements. Layer by layer each taking 24 hours to dry so the ultimate effect has intrinsic life.


There are small explosions, like the fragile petals of some water plant, the more obvious shape of dark green lily pads on blue, generating mysterious depth and a splash of white with green and blue streaks like rain or tentative fragments of thought in space.
Some studies are reminiscent of life under the microscope; the expansion and contraction of floating forms or some of the less welcome growth that has come with pollution.
The shapes gain subjectively subtle implications, prompting one to reconsider the familiar.