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'Above all, the central paradox, the key to oddness and elegance combined, is generated by something else. It comes, I think, from how Rachel Nicholson paints places which are, by definition, places of social gathering, of relaxation and refreshment, and, in her landscapes, of 'peopled' places. Yet, of course, the chairs are empty, the tea set has been left behind, the road has no walkers, the beach has no bathers. This absence is in part derived from the focus the artist requires to work 'on the spot'. If she is to give due attention to her work, she must find times of the day places where she is undisturbed. Yet it also generates the tension which is at the heart of the impact of her work, and which makes it so fascinating and atmospheric for such a wide range of people' 

Michael Tooby

Director, National Museum and Gallery of Wales

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