Peripheral Glimpses: England and France

Brown, Gordon James (2007) Peripheral Glimpses: England and France. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract

Artist’s Statement/Abstract: This exhibition showcases the creative process involved in transposing a suite of very quick sketches in pencil and watercolour of tourist sites in England and France to fully developed studio paintings in oil and accompanying etchings.

The initial sketches were executed during brief breaks on two holiday bus tours. By necessity the specific viewpoints are not always what most travellers would value as the 'best' angles of view or even of the most appropriate subjects in each location visited. Instead what these sketches reveal is a personal vision of what was readily available to be seen at each tourist spot visited and what was extracted as being significant in a fleeting glimpse. Of course, these images would not satisfy the local inhabitants living in each of these scenic locations as the drawings are not intended to be objective renderings. Rather, they should be viewed as gestalt mappings of a whole impression. In short, each of the sketches in this initial suite represents an immediate impression that has not been fully synthesised.

By design, the synthesis stage in which the drawings are developed from impression to rationalised ideas is presented in the painting suite. Here, each quick sketch is married to an oil painting executed in the studio. In the transposition from sketch into studio painting the critical details that identify the original location are not lost. Nevertheless, a fading memory has inevitably altered the true colours and topographical details. Moreover, the process of translating the sketched impressions into finished paintings without a doubt means that the imagery in the oil paintings may be well removed from what might be seen from the same locations with the click of a camera. The shedding of truth—in terms of superficial concrete reality—is not an issue for the artist as the translation of what was once seen into the different reality of memory is like the old children’s game of Chinese Whispers where a circulated oral story changes incrementally with each participant. In short, what is explored in transposition from sketches to the paintings is the reconstituting of pictorial evidence—a clarification and confirmation of loose memories.

To reveal a further stage of this process of synthesis, a suite of etchings is shown in the exhibition. Each print is a black and white graphic version of the relevant sketches and paintings. From the artist's standpoint, these etchings are an added stage of refinement in process of capturing and rationalising (in terms of composition) quickly fading memories. In much the same way as the paintings are glimpses of tourist locations, these prints are also fragmentary assemblages of objective reality. And similar to the paintings, the prints contain the pictorial ingredients of the various locations but they are conceptually a long way from a collection of tourist snapshots.

By intention, the sketches, paintings and prints featured in this exhibition are momentary images evolved from an artist's experiences that will be interesting points of comparison for an audience sharing a similar itinerary of places visited or a similar range of experiences.

Item ID: 5075
Show/Exhibition: Peripheral Glimpses: England and France
Flinders Gallery, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
5-24 October 2007
Keywords: art exhibition
Media of Output: paintings, drawings and etchings
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Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2010 05:44
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950104 The Creative Arts (incl. Graphics and Craft) @ 100%
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