This exhibition merges two distinct styles of painting; portraiture and geometric abstraction. This integration happens both physically in the space and metaphorically in the mind of the artist. It is a unique way of working and thinking about art. Gravitational Geometry has been at the foundation of Daniel Donnelly’s practice over the past few years, and Project Ability is proud to present this intriguing body of work.
Donnelly explains the idea in his own words: “The title of this exhibition refers to the stages of the craft that I am looking into and the merging journey that I have frequently travelled over the years. Put simply the work was inspired by a feeling I had about a personal need to be grateful for studying great artists, writers and philosophers whom I have encountered in books throughout the years. The portraits are involved in a slow and almost imperceptible motion that was to represent my feelings about their influence upon me. I think that these feelings are evident in the portraits; almost as a mood.
I have also over the years involved myself with geometric pattern. My first work relating to geometry and pattern was in the form of 40 hand folded booklets full of unique and varying patterns and colours. After making several of these booklets I began to acquire a knowledge of, and attachment to, particular forms set down by my pencil and brush."
These forms began to correlate with the portraits Donnelly intended to paint; portraits of the people he was grateful to have learned about. He began to refer to them as ‘colour to portrait’ and ‘colour to character’- for example the red coloured pattern was chosen to go with Freud to represent his erotic ideas, and so on with each character’s famous idiom.
“To put it simply this is an exhibition consisting of six A2 portraits of people whom I am grateful to have learnt about, coupled (metaphorically) with six complimentary geometric patterns also in a series of six. The title ‘Gravitational Geometry’… aims to be an explanation of movement; the movement between art and time periods is the gravitation, and the patterns within the geometric abstract works can be used to evoke specific styles of the past 30/35 years.“