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Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 17:06 UK
Devon artist captures valley's strange dichotomy
By Jemima Laing
BBC Devon

Detail of Monument by Yana Trevail
Detail of Monument made up of three panels each measuring 122 x 91.5cm

Artist Yana Trevail used to paint portraits and work in a figurative way.

But her early work is a complete contrast to the abstract landscapes in oils which she now creates, 15 of which are showing at the Tamar Valley Centre.

The month-long exhibition - entitled Strange Dichotomy - will feature paintings depicting the enclosed and steeply wooded Tamar Valley.

The work explores the industrial archaeology and rich mining heritage of the area.

"The paintings are of the Devon side of the area from Morwellham to Rumleigh," said Yana, who started working on the paintings about a year ago.

She works from memory, her impressions of the landscape absorbed during her many walks around the area.

Detail of Engine House by Yana Trevail
Detail of Engine House

"What I'm doing is recalling an in-the-round experience which is both visual and emotional," said Yana, who works in a studio at her Tavistock home.

"It has that very peculiar, haunted atmosphere you get in areas where there is a long history of industrial activity which has been abandoned long ago.

"I was aware of a strange dichotomy of nature and artifice, of past commotion and present tranquillity: that I was here now and not there then."

"I was more interested in the overgrown areas, I like having to scrabble through the undergrowth."

The exhibition has been organised by the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) team.

The team's Charlotte Dancer said: "One of the reasons the Tamar Valley was designated an AONB in 1995 was because of the landscape's high visual quality which appeals to artists and the public alike."

Yana Trevail pictured in her studio
Yana works from her studio in Tavistock

In addition to her art, Yana's background encompasses many creative arenas including dance, working as assistant to celebrated Plymouth artist Robert Lenkiewicz and, more recently, playing the cello.

"There is definitely a creative impulse there," she laughed.

And with landscape painting she feels she has found an outlet with which she feels most comfortable.

So what does she hope people will get from seeing her paintings?

"I hope they enjoy them for the richness of the colour.

"There will be people who like my work and those who don't - I try not to worry too much about what other people think."

Strange Dichotomy
Tamar Valley Centre
Monday 17 May - 11 June 2010

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