Stephen Ford - Solo Show - "Used To Be"

30 Sep 2017 – 29 Oct 2017

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
11:00 – 17:00
12:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Cost of entry

Free Entry

Dynamite Gallery

England, United Kingdom


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“Used To Be” by Stephen Ford marks an exciting evolution in the process of painting for this talented Contemporary Artist, culminating with a compelling solo show at Dynamite Gallery.


Stephen Ford is no stranger to the walls of this eclectic Brighton Art Gallery, his sought after and visually arresting works have graced the walls of this contemporary art space for almost 2 years.

Stephen Ford's talent is born out of the great Artistic practice of portrait painting. This great tradition is centered around an Artist's unique observation, conveying a deeper meaning or understanding of a subject through a sophisticated use of gesture and expression. Portraiture offers subtle visual clues for a viewer to decipher through a very deliberate and often subtle use of a specific, deliberately posed model. Ford applies these principles to his very deliberate choices of subjects, offering the same thoughtful treatment to a variety of specifically selected endangered and wild animals to create a powerful connection between viewer and subject, man and beast.

Stephen Ford's animal images creates a powerful attachment to his subject through precise attention to detail found in deft use of paint and an intense emotional outpouring that informs his creative process. The compelling connection with each exalted subject captured by Ford is enhanced by the deliberately stark background, which create a blank, opaque space around the subjects and very deliberately removes any sense of context, therefore raising questions about where each of his wild and endangered subjects exists. Stephen Ford is subtly asking the viewer to consider our treatment or protection of endangered species through our use of captivity, which necessitates that wild animals be placed outside of their natural context in a kind of purgatory for their own survival, without offering any tangible answer as to what is right or wrong.

This moral ambiguity allows space for the viewer to simply consider the questions his paintings pose. Stephen's entrancing depictions of wild and endangered animals offer a reverence for the beauty of nature and the majesty of each subject, tinged with a sense of fear and anxiety. Each beautiful subject of Ford's paintings suffers the same uneasy doubts surrounding their survival, enhanced by the limbo-like quality echoed by the absent, empty backgrounds.

“Used To Be” showcases technical elements in Stephen Ford's practice that are the fruits of a period of experimentation and development as a Painter. The use and application of combinations of different paints, applied through a pain staking layered process teamed with a consummate use of colour have always been a huge strength in Stephen's practice, offering instant and immediate appeal to his work.

Stephen Ford works in spray paint and oil paint, a technically difficult combination of paints to apply to the same surface. “Used To Be” offers a fresh new body of work showcasing an innovative progression with spray paint technique, applied in a nuanced manner with adroit manipulation controlling this slippery, fast material creating glossy strokes which bring a more subtle colour palette to the earlier layers of paint that hit his canvas. In later stages the oil paint is applied, drawing on sixteen years of working with this traditional and technical material Stephen Ford's final layers add depth, delicate detail and subtle emotion and expression to his breathtaking animal portrait images.

“Used To Be” promises a captivating collection of heartfelt and technically astounding new paintings by Stephen Ford, works which when viewed in the flesh resonate with emotion, consequence and a haunting sense of moral ambiguity.

“Used To Be” by Stephen Ford is showing at Dynamite Gallery from the 30th September - 28th October 2017


Dynamite Gallery

Exhibiting artists

Stephen Ford

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