Carol Hazel is committed to the exploration of colour. From realistic landscapes to contemporary abstract her works take us on journeys to explore what paint can do. A preoccupation with water echoes the longing to live and be, besides the water. With Hazel’s work we are taken there, and then some more, as we are pulled into the pictures which evoke feelings, memories and longings deeper and beyond the mere appearance of things.
As we engage with Hazel’s paintings we become embroiled in a deeper level of reality as we are led into an engagement with the mark making and painterliness that Hazel puts into her works, sometimes subtle and nuanced sometimes fresh and direct. Hazel has consummate skill as a painter and brings this skill to play in creating works that sparkle and shimmer with the energy of the artist at work.
The results are stunning compositions of complex yet subtle colour palettes that evoke a sense of place and show an intense maturity of intuitive purpose. The exploration of the process of painting has engaged Hazel for some time yet her work remains fresh and exciting in its journey of discovery. Each painting takes us to new places, new processes, new engagements as we journey with the artist into constant breakthroughs into new ground, as the artist reinvents her practice.
This is the archetypal journey of the artist. As the great artists Wolf Kahn has stated. The purpose of every painting, for the true artist, is to paint in a freer way in order to find a way to the next painting.
Carol Hazel makes remarkable works. She will be an artist to watch over the coming years as she delves deeper into a profound and unrelenting commitment to the life of the artist.
Hazel’s paintings allow us to look with fresh eyes at images that go beyond the imagery of objects we see around us and into the specific image of the painting as a worked surface of paint, as painting. As well as taking us into this engagement with painting as pure forms of colour, shape, texture and marks, Hazel’s work also evokes a sense of place and a range of subtle moods, dispositions, auras and feeling that flow from the work.
Hazel shows us a treasure trove of artistic expression to enjoy and soak up. Her works are luscious, delectable and enchanting journeys into an imagined world, more real than that we see perched in front of us. In this sense Hazel takes us into a deeper, spiritual reality.
Hazel’s paintings become meditations on the mystical, on the oceanic, on the timelessness and eternity of the act of pure creation untainted by reality as we know it. In this sense we are taken by Hazel’s paintings into a sort of freedom, a vision of the potential to look at things differently.
The vision can shock us into a sense of how what we think is real is really just a small part of creation and that there is an eternity of yet to be created creation. This is the fundamental task of the artist – to show us the infinite possibilities once we tap into the creative force. In doing this, Hazel prompt us to open our eyes a little wider and perhaps open our minds and our hearts too, to the unseen potential of the world around us, to a reclaiming of that sense of child-like wonder.
In doing so, she gives us the freedom to look anew, to find whatever hope, clarity, faith, dreams or aspirations we might seek, simply by opening our eyes, and imagining undreamt of possibilities. For the gift that Hazel gives us in doing this, we should be deeply grateful.
(an article written by multi award winning artist David Giles)
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