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A Bright New Vista Art Exhibition at Rialto Living 2017 Review

A visit to Rialto Living's first art exhibition of the year

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Jose Rains | Mallorca Reporter | Published: 10 Mar 2017

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A Bright New Vista Art Exhibition at Rialto Living 2017 Review

This week Rialto Living kicked off its first art exhibition of 2017 with a showing of Adrian Elgie’s ‘Mis Nuevas Vistas - A Bright New Vista’ and I was kindly invited to visit the opening night. Adrian is an English contemporary landscape artist and, having seen some examples of his paintings and read his background of moving to Mallorca from Cambridgeshire (my home county) to rekindle a romance with his former art college sweetheart on the island, I was keen to find out more.

In Elgie's own words, “My work aims to capture the perpetual changes and transitions in nature, due to the weather, season and all its subtleties. I do this with loose brush strokes, first marks and last marks, transparent overlays and an uneasy balance of finished and unfinished areas of work. Painting over and outside the lines, both mentally and literally, my work represents the way I look and feel about the world around me.”

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So, on a Thursday evening, I made my way to Palma’s city centre, soaking up the warm spring air whilst walking along Palma’s well known Passeig des Born towards the waterfront. At Massimo Dutti, I turned right down the charming little cobbled street Carrer de Sant Feliu to an aspirational lifestyle store called Rialto Living, the venue hosting the art exhibition.

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Upon entering, there is always a wonderful aura to this shop emanating its magnificent architecture and the handpicked selection of finest quality products for sale, from interior design and art to fashion and gifts. Being directed upstairs for the exhibition, I had arrived a little earlier than the 19:30 start, so I had a mooch around the home furnishings part of the store, which was an exhibition in itself. I wanted to buy everything!

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Walking through to the exhibition space just after 19:30 I was instantly impressed, having visited many exhibitions over the years in various locations, this was my first in Mallorca and I had no expectations. The space was elegant with its high ceilings, stunning ancient archways and sophisticated lighting. It was certainly large enough to exhibit yet sufficiently small to be intimate, which also created a sociable element to the venue. The white washed walls powerfully displayed each individual piece of art. There must have been twenty-something paintings of various different sizes on display. Prices started at 200€ for the smaller ones and went up to the 2000€ for the largest items.

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Upon first glance at Adrian’s art, my observations were that he used a tropical palette and that there were many layers to his work. At first, I thought these were painted onto canvas but as soon as you get closer, it becomes apparent he paints onto MDF wood. Each and every frame is a different colour to compliment the painting, although the gold frames for me were a highlight and seemed to work well with numerous different pieces.

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There were a range of landscapes with various perspectives of the island highlighting Mallorca’s many charms. From vineyards and cactus plants, sea views, mountain backdrops to villages. A personal favourite for me was the ‘Room with a View’ from Mallorca’s L’Hermitage, Orient’. I loved the peaceful feel to this particular piece along with the warm colours. Perhaps being brought up in the countryside this gave a feeling of nostalgia.

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Another favourite was ‘Let’s go down to the beach’, which was a view down some steps to the water. Its dramatic lines made the painting feel more 3 dimensional and the vibrant colours harmonized with the happy feeling of going down to the beach.

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After my first quick snoop around all the different paintings, I went over to the small table in the corner serving glasses of cava, wine and water to quench my thirst. I noticed at this point the delicious-looking canapes being taken around the room for guests to enjoy. After sampling a couple of these delights, the sobrassada, honey and cheese being a firm favourite, I got to meet the man himself!

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It turns out he has been working hard since June last year and produced all this artwork on display in just 8 months, whilst rekindling with an old flame from 30 years ago. He explained to me that his palette has moved away from the more muted, muddy colours of Cambridgeshire’s countryside to the burnt reds and more vibrant colours of Mallorca because his “vistas changed from ploughed fields to sun dabbled almond groves”.

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Upon asking if he had a favourite amongst the twenty-something paintings on display, he revealed he has had a love affair with each and every one of them so he couldn’t possibly choose one. He has experienced many emotions with all, including love, hatred and frustration (these words spilling out of his mouth). He did reveal that often some of his best pieces are produced when he is angry and frustrated with his work, so there is a huge silver lining to even the more negative emotions.

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He revealed that he kept breaking the canvases he used to work on because he is quite dramatic with his brushes so had to move over to MDF wood. I felt that one of the unique styles that stood out from his work were the dramatic lines which appeared to be the finishing touch on each piece of art. Asking about what he used to create these dramatic lines, he disclosed that he used ink blocks to create these and even some of the smaller lines.

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By around 9 o’clock, a few of the paintings had already sold! So, if you are thinking about visiting the exhibition with the plan to buy, I recommend you get down early to avoid disappointment. It will be taking place between 9th March and 18th April 2017. I look forward to seeing more art exhibitions at this superb venue over the course of the year.

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