I work in the tradition of artists who explore meaning and memory in the physical or living environment. My intention is to suggest the shapes and textures of different kinds of landscape, thereby creating a mood or emotion that can be freely interpreted by the viewer. Made using diluted acrylic on canvas, this painting is an imagined narrative scene. Rather than replicating what I can see, my work aims to confront the mental imprint or echo of the inner landscape that we all have embedded in our personal and collective memories.
For some, the painting is a fragile, tranquil and poetic reflection but for others it may suggest anxiety and even a post-catastrophic world. My paintings are created to provoke a mood or have a sense of movement as their focus. I paint from memory so each painting has resonances of different places and times I have lived in or visited, rather than from precise photographic references. Many viewers have felt a recognition response to the painting, indicating they find a resonance for them that is important in some way.
I am increasingly interested in how human interactions have, and are, affecting the nature/culture/ecology of place. “Landscape with Trees” has an absence of human activity that may suggest utopian or, in certain circumstances, dystopian dreamscapes of the future. It can also be seen as an expression of the sublime or romantic landscape, which in this case contains an undercurrent of unease. It should suggest ‘to the finite a glint of the infinite’. 1
I painted this work a year ago and in my current practice I am building on this to create projects that are developed through research into the landscape, but which are informed by the history and narrative of a place. As well as this investigation, I am continuing to explore imaginary landscapes in paint, and working with drawings and etchings for an artist’s book.
“Landscape With Trees” (2013) was selected for the Clyde Community Award 2013–14 from my Fine Art degree show at Chelsea College of Art and Design. It is now on exhibition at the Clyde & Co. offices in central London until June 2014. It was sold to private buyers at auction last year.
1 “[Caspar David] Friedrich’s art was one that gave ‘profound meaning to the commonplace, an aura of the mysterious to the ordinary, the distinction of the unknown to what is perfectly familiar and to the finite a glint of the infinite’”. (Introduction, Matthew Hargraves, exhibition catalogue for ‘A Dialogue with Nature’, Courtauld Gallery, March 2014)
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