This series of 18 paintings and 4 ceramic works was conceived and made in my studio in Elephant and Castle in London.
While living and working in London I wanted to create work which responded to elements of my environment. Just like in my series of New Zealand acrylic paintings, I wanted to be influenced by the local and allow that to change the course of my paintings: in this case the artificial built surroundings and intensity of London city existence.
Chris Moller, renowned New Zealand Architect, Urbanist and presenter of Grand Designs NZ choosing his painting at the opening.
Integrating basic concepts within Brutalism, of which there is plenty of in London, I set a framework from which to begin this new series. I mimicked the granular concrete surfaces, and observed the three-dimensional structures surrounding me with the objective of translating the block-like three-dimensional of the city scape into the paintings. Treatment of materials and formal composition was deliberate - I assembled and built each piece as a three-dimensional object, frames included - both structurally and formally. When the paintings hang in the gallery they relate to each other as do buildings in a city and a tiny city scape is formed.
Top row: Exhibition opening at Solander Gallery - February 2020.
Bottom row: Wall installation at Solander Gallery, "Tube Mapper", 44 x 34cm, original acrylic, spray paint and mixed media in custom tray frame.
Formally it was important to place these works in the city environment around me, and a main concern was aesthetics through materiality. I deliberately worked with artificial materials like spray paint, lurid colour and plastified acrylic to evoke the sensation of urban immersion. I wanted to reference the city with the spray-painted graffitti gestures and cacophony of fractured bright visual information all in fierce competition for your attention. The eye moves across the picture plane without rest, the compositions do not allow it does not find a place to settle.
Studio, Tannery Arts, Elephant and Castle and "Northern", 54 x 54cm, original acrylic, spray paint and mixed media in custom tray frame.
Each painting, like porthole into a city, holds an intense internal conversation within it’s confines of colour, shape and texture. Slick finishes and crisp lines share space with scumbled surfaces and rough edges. Things clash and they coalesce. They are dense, jubilantly coloured and blissful – leaving you heady and feeling like you’ve experienced a hot to rap to the eyeballs.
Fabled Paradise opens at Solander Gallery on Feb 12th and will be on show till March 14th.