Jake Attree is an artist renowned for his ability to capture the character of a building or landscape. A short film, recently made about him, shows him drawing inside York Minster, with a boldness and gravitas that suits the setting.
Attree is showing 50 Works on Paper at Clare Hall, Cambridge, from 10 January to the 13 February. There are various scenes on view but among them are aspects of Clare Hall and its gardens. All convey this artist’s ability to uncover a rare stillness, through his concentration on tonal and colour relationships.
He has subtitled this exhibition ‘Seeing through drawing’ and explains: “For me, drawing is the grammar of visual language; it is the way I explain the world to myself, wordlessly. It is both an obsession and a compulsion that takes me away from myself and brings me into a kind of harmony with what I am drawing. We have been drawing – or something very like it – since the time of the cave paintings at Lascaux and Altamira. Drawing, like all truly creative activity, is not an entertainment or pastime, but rather something fundamental to our psychic health as a species.”
Attree has a studio at Dean Clough in Halifax, an enormous mill complex that once housed Crossley Carpets but is now dedicated to the arts. His work has been exhibited widely in the UK over the past 25 years, also in America, Holland and Germany.