The Malta Independent 22 June 2024, Saturday
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Enchanted Canvases

Sunday, 12 May 2024, 09:20 Last update: about 2 months ago

Sue Nightingale's latest collection of paintings, Allure, was opened earlier this month by the well-known British actor Robin Askwith, who lives in Gozo and has been a very good friend of Sue and her late husband Rick with whom he did a great deal of yachting.

Lara Meli Bugeja Curator of the Malta Postal Museum and also of Allure, Sue Nightingale's latest exhibition, had this to say: "Sue paints from her studios in the UK and Gozo, creating as she calls it, 'magic'. And in this solo exhibition, winged horses, mythological lovers, and magical landscapes form part of her latest offerings. Inspired by a painting of the Greek myth of Selene (the moon goddess) and shepherd Endymion, she brings to canvas, colour and sensitivity in her depiction of desire, yearning and undying love... Her series of horses continue to develop what Nightingale has been working on for several years. They are a metaphor for the human figure, exulting in life and all it brings."


Endymion, the shepherd, is said to have spent much time gazing at the moon looking out for Selene. This myth would appeal to Sue who is herself a romantic figure, a trait which is often reflected in her paintings.

She uses colours to evoke a magical feel in her paintings, creating works that transport the viewer to realms of wonder and enchantment.


I love her use of purple, a favourite colour of mine, which creates a sense of mystery; she plays with warm oranges and gold which suggest magic and warmth; she uses light sources and shadows which add a dramatic and other worldly effect, highlighting the magical elements. And how can you not love her cats and winged horses, her precious perfumed bottles, her carpets, magical of course?

Her paintings invoke a sense of wonder, even of nostalgia. One gets a general feeling of aesthetic appreciation when one looks at anything Sue makes. Apart from painting horses, she also makes them. I have pictured them here. They are beautiful as you can see "and time-consuming to make", Sue assures me.

Let us not forget that it is well known that art has a therapeutic effect on our emotions.

Many of Sue's  paintings are dreamlike. They are a reflection of Sue: A  happy, romantic figure, brimming with ideas and in love with life. I have to comment that I found her partner John Prichard so willing to help and so appreciative of Sue's  work. Utterly charming too.

Sue is 77-years-old and I predict this will not be her last exhibition.

Go and meet her this coming Thursday, 16th between 11 and 2pm. You will see what I mean.

Allure can be enjoyed at the Malta Postal Museum in Archbishop Street, Valletta. It closes on 6th June. The Museum closes at 4pm. But go to their website to check.


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