Approved: 06.03.2019

Bernard Charnley

Artist, Researcher

Approved: 06.03.2019

I usually receive quite divided responses to my painting. Many times it is a reaction to the visual or formal handling, before asking any other more specific questions about content or the conceptual underlay. I like to think this is a recognition of an imaginary we all carry around, an undefined space of future intent, that has a sensory dimension, something felt through the body. 

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    Artist Statement

    I usually receive quite divided responses to my painting. Many times it is a reaction to the visual or formal handling, before asking any other more specific questions about content or the conceptual underlay. I like to think this is a recognition of an imaginary we all carry around, an undefined space of future intent, that has a sensory dimension, something felt through the body. 

    In contrast, another range of response falls under the umbrella of the cognitive or very direct questioning about content. Here, the proposed imaginary is working through the brain, conceptually or analytically first.

    I’ve framed this description of a complex interaction as a simple contrast to bring out my own reflection on the paintings as a spectator myself, when a painting begins its own life. This is also incidentally why this artist statement changes now and again. As with I think all painting, there is no linguistic explanation, only a developing discussion that opens up relevant ways of looking. 

    This picturing of sensory and conceptual pathways above is intended to highlight a tension in the paintings. The subject is usually an undefined outside place, bare landscape or seascape with evidence of human construction. It is also an outside space that witnesses a past or actual moment of destruction or radical change. Fire is a recurring presence. There is a dystopian character to these visual signifiers that draws in ideas of the social, environmental or political.

    In contrast and yet woven into the content, is the affirmative act of painting and the material play of light, colour and surfaces. These formal elements in my work can take on an emancipatory life of their own in pictorial terms, and the scraping away to reveal other layers forwards the materiality of the painting and its immediacy as an image. 

    There is something paradoxical, liberating and metaphorical about this all at the same time. It is this dynamic, ambiguous interplay, between the material sensory of paint and the conceptual representations of place undergoing a radical event, which captivates and is a recurring energy and ongoing enquiry


     

     

     

     

    CV & Education

    Training:

    - Foundation / Maidenhead College of Art
    - Dip AD Course / Leeds College of Art
    - B.Ed (Hons) London University
    - MA Philosophy Open University

    Solo:

    - Colour Radicals/Rugby Art Gallery and Museum/Sept - Oct 2018
    - Signs Of Disorder/Rugby Art Gallery and Museum/Feb 2014
    - The Instability of Spaces/AirSpace Dialogue Box/Stoke-on-Trent/August 2009 
    - A Different Kind of Beauty/Harrington Studios/ Nottingham - April 2009

    Group Exhibitions/Events/Networks:

    -Coventry Artspace selected artist of interest/Axis Web membership March 2019
    -Coventry Open/Feb 2019
    -John Moores Painting Prize/ selected for exhibition July 2016
    -Volunteer participant/refurbish pre-Glassbox/Coventry/Jan 2013
    -ARC Pioneer volunteer and event participant/The Square and Herbert Art Gallery/Coventry 2013
    -Flash mob/Christmas Pop-up event/Coventry Station/The Square, Coventry/2012
    -ARC (ACE funded) print commission/Coventry Artspace/2012
    -The Serious And The Absurd - working towards comic criticality/Talk on practice/Coventry 2012
    -Earlsdon Festival Show/ Coventry/2012
    -Airvent/AirSpace Gallery/Stoke-on-Trent/2011
    -Slideshow/AirSpace Gallery/Stoke-on-Trent/2011
    -Kiss Me Quick/Harbour Arm Gallery/Margate/2011
    -Motel Knadski/Trajector Art Fair/Contributing Artist/Brussels/2011
    -There Is Beauty In The City/ Ezcurdia_30 Gallery/Gijon, Spain/August 2010
    -Common Ground/AirSpace public art exhibition/Hanley Park Stoke-on-Trent/June 2010
    -Learning Journeys/Urban Vision/Phase One/Sheffield/Feb 2010
    -Learning Journeys/Urban Vision/Phase One/Leicester/2009 
    -Pecha Kucha Night/FatCat Cafe and Bar/Co-organiser/Performer/Stoke-on-Trent 2009
    -Inter?ogation/Walsall New Art Gallery/Sept 2009 Collaborative with artist Brian Holdcroft
    -Marina Abramovich/participant /Whitworth Gallery/Manchester/2009 
    -AntiFreeze/Manchester/2009
    -Aftermath/AirSpace studio artists/Leek Institute, Leek/2009 
    -Preston Pest Project/Castlefield Gallery  2008-Allotments/Harrington Studios, Nottingham 2009
    -Salon /D2 Gallery/Leipzig, Germany  2008 
    -Play/AirSpace, Stoke-on-Trent 
    -Short Cuts/AirSpace Gallery 2008
    -Identity/The Artists Organisation/ Nottingham 2007
    -Headtalk/forum/co-creator/Stoke-on-Trent 2007-8