That Art Gallery
Friday, September 6, 2019
Saturday, September 28, 2019
17 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS, England
South West England
That Art Gallery

This collection of paintings came out of a group called ‘Shelf life’. The title comes from the use of cardboard packaging (soap, toothpaste, tea and biscuits), which is flattened painted and collaged onto the canvas surface. These cardboard fragments create edges, jutting square and straight; forming raised creases and folds. Where there are holes in the card these make windows, through which the energetic under-painting is revealed. 

The collaged painting surface is overlaid with fine linear ink drawings made on transparent rice paper. This makes areas of sharp focus amongst the mess. Thick pieces of black felt and hessian add areas of fuzzy texture and once painted are reminiscent of a blank TV screen transmitting off the station. The paintings have carefully constructed scruffy surfaces, which are forensically created by layering over a long period of time.

The idea of working on a group of paintings, a family or union perhaps, where one is larger amongst several smaller works, is something which is in development. For example the painting Scavenger is formed from a square canvas with three much smaller rectangles added to form a more satisfactory proportion.

The painting process takes between two and three years and the titles result from collecting words and scrawling them on the studio wall; these are used to name the finished works.

Past experience of making temporary drawings using fragile materials has informed the description of space in these paintings. More recently deciding to concentrate solely on painting and not having to deal with the problem of gravity has been a massive relief. It has opened up a new world.

The earlier paintings in the series emerged out of a first layer of dark indigo; because of this they retain something of a dark seriousness, they are not joking around, they mean business. They are paintings for our austere times.

Lucy Austin. 2019