Sunday, 29 April 2012

Whitespace Exhibition

My recent exhibition at the Whitespace Gallery was a show involving myself and Roz McKenzie. The work was a mixture of drawings, painting and contemporary stained glass. To see more of Roz's work click on the link above.. 

Roz's stained glass panels were in lightboxes which we built ourselves and hung on a particular wall of the gallery to get the right level of light (direct light from strip lights on the panels would have ruined the effect).


My work mostly involved drawings but included the watercolours and oil painting hung on this particular wall. The big painting is titled 'Arsenic Mine' and is based on drawings and photographs I took in Cornwall of abandoned arsenic mines which ran down to the cliff edges. I have previous posts on this blog and my other website. The watercolours were looking at 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. I was interested in the odd way in which these places represented the heart of our 'democracy' while at the same time looking like a cage. I found the image of tourists staring at fairly mundane scenes through bars at the police officers within like some sort of bizarre zoo. 

More hanging Roz's stained glass panels.

These small drawings took up the last wall of the gallery, they were all drawings I have done in-situ. They are mostly from the various places I have been in the previous year - Wells, Erfurt and paderborn. These drawings represent a sort of travelogue of my travels.

Downing Street/Parliament watercolours with reflections.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Redruth and the world of tomorrow...

Having just finished my last exhibition at the Whitespace gallery and I am now in the process of making work for the next one I am having in June. This exhibition will be quite an exciting event involving artists from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds/styles. Watch this space for more info...

As part of my proposal I plan to show a quadriptych of paintings with the each showing a different aspect of the others paintings in some respect. I am examining what I think of large scale utopian dreams with the often harsh reality of these movements. The obvious ones being nazism, communism and 60s building programmes. 

Despite this I am an idealist! I love both the run down gritty side of the city but also find the architecture of various utopian dreams fascinating as well.

To this end I am painting the images below as part of the series of 4:

Redruth, Cornwall. This image is a painting of a building that stood next to the main station in Redruth, in a twist of fate the building apparently no longer exists. I like the idea that my painting shows a ghost image of what was and that in the duration of painting this it ceased to exist.. With this image I am looking at the anomalies that exists within a culture such as our own in Britain, at once vastly wealthy and yet deprivation and ruin still exists. A non-utopian ideal.

'The world of a past-present, today', collaged imagery. This painting is taking various images and collaging them together. In this picture I am looking at the utopian ideal of clean lines, straight buildings and huge plazas. But even in this image I am looking at creating a sense of unease, the image is empty - no people or any nature either. And the building could just as easily be a prison as a modernist housing block.
The sky was an important element for me in this painting - lifting the eye above the area at the bottom of the painting but also heightening the sense of emptiness of the city. 

I hope to show these paintings plus 2 more and one large piece (space permitting!) in the next exhibition.