Geoff Diego Litherland draws us into a future of both hope and anxiety. Weaving together disparate cultural references into landscapes, portraits and maps, he creates an overarching narrative, an invitation to journey into the unknown as explorers of what might be. In these works of fluid beauty and technical bravado Litherland constructs the future from the past, fiction from fact. He sends us out into the stars as settlers of new worlds, where in the face of impending environmental disaster we can start again.
Litherland’s paintings allow us to glimpse dramatic landscapes; oceans, forests and mountains that are in a state of flux, hovering between solid and liquid, abstract and figurative, creation and destruction. They are seen through patinas of light and rust, painterly veils that enhance this sense of ambiguity, leaving us to ask, are we witnessing the final hours of a dying world, or the first minutes of one that is newly born?
For those wanting to explore these worlds, to step into this possible future, Litherland provides plans, painted maps that are part cartography, part painting, part future artifact. These strange hybrid creations are a combination of satellite images, energy lines, geometric forms and abstract gestures, they don’t offer the viewer a geographic knowledge of these worlds, but a wider epistemology to a more interconnected way of living.
These paintings are not only held together by their underlying narrative of future hope, they are also united through Litherland’s exuberant delight in the possibilities of paint. Like the worlds he portrays that are pregnant with possibility, these paintings reveal paint as a vibrant medium, full of dynamic potential. As abstract marks coalesce into figurative forms before falling away again into luscious layers glinting with light, Litherland gives the viewer an invitation. Come and follow – the future awaits.
Text Dr Richard Davey