I am delighted to announce that a selection of my work has gone on show in the Jack Sevens Contemporary Art Gallery in Macclesfield, Cheshire. The works are graphite drawings and paintings in oil and acrylic, all using the circle as a leitmotif.
This show forms part of a greater, town-wide arts festival in Macclesfield, called ‘Barnaby’, which takes-off proper in a few weeks' time. This year’s theme is ‘space’.
I was very pleased to be asked to contribute to a show so themed because 'space' has long been a concern in my work. There’s an obvious level on which space is apparent, in that, at a glance, all and any of these works could be pictures of planets floating in space. However, my interest in space is generally of a different sort. I am interested in the way painting historically has a dual existence: as a palpably flat surface – a physical object – and as a site of depiction of three-dimensional space. This tension, or contradiction, seems to me to make a painting’s surface a place for endless experimentation. Every painting or drawing has the potential to have elements of flatness and three-dimensionality, and experiments on how these aspects can rise and fall in significance and interact with each other are key to what I do.
The circle evolved as a useful device for this because of its neutrality. All edges are the same distance from the centre, there is no necessary suggestion of landscape or portrait, and any experiment that starts in the middle and moves outwards, evenly, creates a circle.
The works shown here are (circles on) 1 metre square paintings and 0.5 metre square drawings. Further details can be found in the galleries pages of this site.
Jack Sevens Contemporary Art Gallery can be found at 23a Chestergate, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6BX
Stephen Riley, Artist, Bruton, Somerset, UK