Foreword by Gerald Thorburn

Birds Displaying their Plumage

Birds Displaying their Plumage
38" height x 34" length
Catalogue: 90

Was there ever a time that man did not draw or paint? Images of every kind have been seen, some loved, some admired, some adored, some envied, some criticised, some hated. Emotions are stirred up by art. The artist takes a medium - paint, charcoal, graphite and so one and creates an image, be it for him or herself or for others. So it has been through the centuries; symbols of life, of piety, of power, of politics, of failure, but always answering to the skill and imagination of the artist.

Then came subversion in more recent times; rejection of the aesthetic of the past carried out not from an objective standpoint but rather from a speculative one. No longer were we to be taken by those aesthetic standards - colour, light, balance and symbolism. Modernism in all its different expressions and finally, the explosion of contemporary art which is sweeping aside all those centuries of work in a tidal wave of destruction driven by money and power. We see huge galleries celebrating works that diminish the traditions of skill, study and research which have been the product of hundreds of years of commitment; a tidal wave that seemed triumphant and unstoppable.

And then came the coronavirus. What now? In these strange new times where there is a tendenccy to transfer so many aspects of life online, there may re-emerge a desire to relate once more to the physicality of objects of meaning and visual gratification. Might it not be that disillustion will lead to ways of art before subversion came?

The artist has managed to sail through these troubled waters on an even keel, unscathed. His timeless work is there to be seen and enjoyed. We are repeatedly drawn to his improbable avian confections; proud, coy, busy, pensive birds. But they are alsways visually vibrant and every one true. Contrast these with the absolute calm emerging from his local landscapes - places for us to quietly contemplate; still lives of great elegance, finely balanced compositions are beautifully presented, and all ery much "painterly themes"! These are works for us to enjoy. they reveal over the course of his remarkable artistic career, one can only be thankful that the tidal wave has failed to engulf such a gifted and individual artist.

Gerard Thorburn

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