AboutBrian Clegg considers the seeds of his artistry to be trips to the river with his mother as a child to collect clay for sculpting in the garden at home. Years spent honing his skills led to a career in sculpting and foundry work during the 1950/60's, the breakthrough in his work being when he started having his sculptures cast in bronze at Ferrini`s of London (famous for casting the work of sculptors such as Henry Moore and David McFall). This exhibition however concentrates on the artist's later work and showcases a selection of his most recent abstract paintings.
In keeping with artistic tradition, Brian started painting for practical means as it allowed him to create artworks quickly and alongside his foundry work. Early in his career he started painting in watercolour by the river Dart, and would paint landscapes when visiting his brother down on the South coast of England. The early work was therefore characterised by a transcription of landscape that is absent from the work he produces today, and what can be seen in this show. However, the concentrated technique carries through.
Brian gradually became more inspired by painting with acrylics, impressed by the vibrancy of their colours and the freedom of working with a palette knife. The thick, abstract nature of his application of the paint has an affinity with his sculpting background in its tactile manipulation of matter. Brian's style is as much about the use of paint and the forms he can produce with it, as it is the layering of colours and creating a balanced tonal range.
Subsequently, Brian works on individual paintings as opposed to producing collections of works. As a result the colours, sizes and shapes are varied and revisional - just when you think you have identified a style you find the work has shifted to explore another technique. This sums up the nature of Brian's work ethic, and supports the exhibitions interest in universal matter: something that emerges from the paintings as opposed to something artificially instilled in them.
The name of the exhibition arose from the work itself rather than being guided by it; inspired by the microscopic forms that the paint transmutes, it alludes to the Essences of the material world that may be seen in the paintings if contemplated closely.