Geoff Powell - Born 02 12 1938 Bridgend, South Wales.
Resident in London in the 60s/70s the events of which triggered my painting career. I have lived and worked in South Devon for the last 31 years.
Being a self-taught painter I have been able to find my unique style of painting and drawing which explores the joys and fears of humankind.
Using acrylic paint I work directly onto the canvas, without any pre-drawing. I find starting a work easy, knowing when to stop is the difficulty.
I have learned much by watching other artists at work and from the words of those I consider masters of art, such as Mark Rothko: "A picture lives by companionship, expanding and quickening in the eyes of the sensitive beholder. It dies by the same token. It is therefore a risky and unfeeling act to send it into the world." I feel that it is worth the risk, as do collectors of my work.
People ask me what my paintings mean and why some are untitled. My reply is: "To name some of my paintings would limit the viewer's response. They mean whatever the viewer sees in them, but that individual meaning must not necessarily be seen as the artist's intention."
I sign my paintings on the reverse as I see a signature on the front as a blemish.
Millfield Chapel Gallery
49 Daventry Street, London.
Northcott Theatre Exeter
Birdwood House, Totnes
Hannahs at Seale Hayne
Gavin Blench - Painter
My work deals with the tension between open and boundaried space within my local landscape, on the edge of Dartmoor, where there is an interplay relating the topographical to the social. Wild space butts against the needs and assertions of community.
I portray place in its temporal aspect, showing the surface of the land as possessing a lifespan of its own that is imprinted by the activities of many of our own lifetimes; boundaries thousands of years old, interwoven and overlaid by newer demarcations. On Dartmoor the natural vegetation cover has long been grazed away to reveal remnants of the past. Reave systems and habitations made when we, as a culture, first settled into one static location, become discernible once more. These boundaried spaces are on one level pragmatic but as a consequence become a residue of intention and identity.
Within this, there is also an acknowledgement of my own temporal viewpoint. I have multiple sclerosis, so these familiar places become increasingly inaccessible. Inevitably the landscape I love becomes a resonator for the emotions around loss and approaching mortality. The boundaried constraints of disablement juxtaposed with the wide expanses of the imagination.
I’m particularly drawn to the notion of escarpment and its metaphysical connotations. I see the escarpment recurring all around me in my local geography. Land use shifts from one state to another, the ecology changes and one’s phenomenological experience of place, distance and movement also alters. Prolonged periods in Arnhemland Australia, living with the Gumatji aboriginal clan, has also fed an understanding of wild space in relation to human habitation.
I work by making many observational drawings in a place which then are reworked in the studio and eventually feed into a painting process. Colour, gesture and expression inform any abstraction. I paint in oils, subsequently the activity of painting itself and the nature of the medium have a lot to say in the finished piece.
My practice is an attempt to map my own contextual relationship to timeframes of changing landscape. Focusing upon the essential components and contrasts that make up a specific place, I paint the distinctions between these states in their simplest form.
Arts & Film