Steven Berry’s ‘water paintings’ induce a state of contemplative reflection. Water can generate a state of mind that echo’s the very properties of the water itself. In the same way gentle ripples can soothe, a tempestuous storm can unsettle. The intent to this series of water paintings is to capture a feeling of deep relaxation. A feeling most people understand if they have ever spent an afternoon staring out to sea or on the edge of a riverbank lost in the glimmer of the ripples.
Outdoors the visual world is never static. This becomes even more obvious when the imagery contains movement. It is not easy to capture water in a static image. Photographs taken at a fast speed will make the water look like ice or solid glass. If taken at a very slow speed, like cotton wool or soft snow. Berry’s ability to translate his own spiritual state of mind on to the canvas is generated, largely by his ‘speed’ of water imagery.
The surface of his current images become broken and fragmentary, with patches of colour and loose line picked up by reflections of trees, which stand close to the waters edge. Giving the impression that the water could be contained close to the shore or bank. Thus taking away the threat of a deep, frightening area of water. The colours reflected in the water inevitably echo the colour of the sky, giving the impression of an enveloping, calm and still environment. These devises whether conscious or not, re enforce the paintings ability to give the viewer a moment of ‘stillness’. A break from the days pressures.
Berry’s water environments have the ability to transport us from the world around us and plunge us in to a state of tranquillity.