Exhibition introduction by Martin Goold
Memory has played a significant part in the making of the new paintings for this exhibition.
2020 brought some changes to my working pattern and the thinking behind it, not least the restrictions to travel changed the way I gather references and inspiration. In this altered and very strange environment I found myself returning to old sketchbooks and travel notebooks; these records of places visited back through years have presented a new direction for work. The veil of time changes things and what is remembered can become quite subjective and personalised.
One sketchbook from around 35years ago has drawings made in Heraklion, being there is a distant but evocative memory and the painting that has emerged from looking at these sketches: ‘Sea Fortress’, is airy, vaporous and light-filled. Other paintings in the exhibition such as ‘Castello Scaligero’ and ‘Dark Orange Riva Gateway’ come out of travel sketchbooks from The Veneto where I have been visiting for over 25years; colour sets a transmuted atmosphere in these paintings and omissions and divergences openly play with the process of remembering.
Closer to home the drawings ‘Full Moon Cobb’ and ‘Cobb Moon’ look out to a moonlit sea from Lyme, leaving a familiar home to make an imaginary crossing by the mysterious light of the moon. The large canvas ‘Distant Shore’ is also about the anticipation and allure of a voyage.
The dialogue between measured graphic techniques and expressive gesture is an ongoing interest, but there is also a greater place for ambiguity and elusive contradiction in these paintings, most notably in ‘Crimson Sky Alcazaba’where spatial overlapping leads to puzzles about what is in front and what is receding.
Abstraction involving leaving out details and making alterations and accentuations allows for a liberated and expressive handling of the subject matter; it is the form I have chosen to express the idea of journeys into memory.