Whenever my Facebook page goes particularly quiet (or is filled with art related ramblings rather than actual work) it often means that – aside from possibly being in the depths of a creative slump – I am working on a secret project. This has been true during the latter part of the autumn as I tried to finish a new canvas as a gift.
Often these paintings are completely unrelated to my own studio practice, but this particular painting is very much related to the direction my research has recently taken me in. I have always explored the concept of time and history within my work, and this has recently branched out into tracing my own family tree (pun only partially intended!).
I have already discovered that, aside from most definitely being working class (any hopes of a long-lost inheritance to fund full time art-making is definitely not on the cards), my family crossed paths with the Elephant Man!
The new painting that I completed as a gift however is related to another family tree and, although conceptually linked to my work, aesthetically took the form of a more traditional portrait as it developed:
Clockie (Work in progress 1) Acrylic on canvas 2013
Clockie (Work in progress 2) Acrylic on canvas 2013
The painting is based on the Aris Clockmakers from Uppingham – Thomas Aris sits in the foreground posing in front of a clock made by William Aris. The data that informed this painting was collated from the local history section in the library at Uppingham, coupled with a rather more obvious google search in a bid to get better quality images.
Using this data ‘Clockie’ was created (although the quality of the actual archive photograph of Thomas was very poor so some artistic licence was required):
Clockie Acrylic on canvas 2013 Private collection
The paintings I am now working on for my own studio practice will use collated data in the same way as this painting, but will utilise this visual information in a more abstract way in order to build layers and question the concept of time being a continuum.