Chris Loukes


I began exploring colour and emotion through painting after I experienced the powerful impact of Mark Rothko’s ‘Seagram Mural’ paintings in the Tate. I wanted to make work that created a similar response – I found that blue and red work best for me but it was very interesting that I had strong negative feelings toward yellow and green. When I took up making art full time, I started my day’s work with a 20-minute walk as a way of clearing my mind. As my awareness of changes in the landscape grew, I made photographs of moments that were significant both emotionally and visually. I enjoy the process of photography with its combination of technicalities and aesthetics, and for a time the two activities of painting and photography continued in parallel, but I was always aware of a tension between them that I could never satisfactorily resolve. In digital video I have found an ideal medium for exploring this tension. I started making videos in 2006 during my MA. As a result of juxtaposing photographs with paintings, then cutting them up and sticking them onto the painting in strips of different widths, I ended up painting vertical strips of colour onto the paintings – reminiscent of Barnet Newman’s “zips”. When I displayed several pieces of this work together as a series I could see that they were like film stills so that when, co-incidentally, I was introduced to digital video it felt like a medium with enormous potential for me. It was very exciting to be able to combine abstraction with photographic images and include time and sound. I work mainly intuitively, making up rules as I go along and then breaking them. I work from video footage of ordinary, everyday moments – sometimes planned in advance and sometimes not. The addition of vertical lines into the image makes it come alive for me. I add the lines in response to events in the picture – they emphasise the passage of time through their rhythms and the changing proportions. The layering of imagery using Chroma Key I find interesting because it enables me to combine movement in several directions at once. The soundtrack of the final piece is the ambient sound slowed, stretched and layered, and sometimes mixed with other recordings. In my recent work, I’ve been exploring the many layers of perception of everyday moments and how they change from one state to another, and the way we create patterns and rhythms in our lives. Some artists who are influential to me are: Malcolm Le Grice for his use of repetition and rhythms of sound and image, Bill Viola for his use of slowed down film, and Ergin Çavusoglus studies of transience. read full statement

Location Norwich, East
Artforms / type of project Digital, Film & Video, Painting, Photography
Tags video-art, abstract, landscape

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