Albemarle Gallery presents: 'Far-seeing Eye'
28 April-11 May 2019
This exhibition develops signature themes featured last year in the Pontone Gallery show, Into the Deep.
In these new paintings and works on paper, I continue to explore the tension between observation and abstraction through a series of motifs - frames, wreaths, garlands - that refer to classical, baroque and rococo models. They act as openings or gateways to other worlds.
While the motifs allude to classical symbols - most notably the leaves of ivy, acanthus and oak - they are deliberately unstable, oscillating between “nature” and artifice, the living and the inanimate. It was certainly not my intention to make straightforward observational paintings of the natural world: the colour green is conspicuously absent from my palette.
Using such florid imagery, I hoped to conjure up the exuberance and abundance of Grinling Gibbons, the English baroque sculptor. In the studio I made models of foliage, which I painted directly, i.e. without resorting to photographs. I combined these on the canvas to make the assemblages and contrivances of the paintings.
The work springs from ideas about the forest, a romantic landscape in which the imagination can act. The synthetic constructions set up fantastical scenarios, which swirl around in a sea of turbulent paint.