Approved: 02.11.2010

Gareth Kemp

Artist

Approved: 02.11.2010

I am a Painter. Ultimately, the paintings I make are an attempt to address the age-old challenge of how to best represent the world we inhabit on a flat, two-dimensional surface. But in tandem with that they are a way for me to explore a personal geography and history shaped by memory and a strong sense of place. To do this I create fictional landscapes of non-specific places. These locations often appear other-worldly or possess what I think of as the 'unreal real' or uncanny. The landscapes frequently possess signs of human intervention although they seldom contain figures. My paintings sometimes make direct reference to the work of other artists, particularly Caspar David Friedrich, Francisco Goya or Frederic Edwin Church. In appropriating and editing details from these, I want to see if the psychology of the landscape is altered when they have their context removed.  But importantly for me, my paintings also draw upon my memories of growing up in a remote part of Wales, with its associated sense of isolation. They also embrace myth and folklore. The titles sometimes come from songs - music is often an important and complementary reference point for me, and it forms part of the collage of elements that feed into my work.

Read more ...

  • Location: Liverpool, North West
  • Contexts: Studio practice
  • Artforms: Painting
  • Tags: art history, window, tropical, palm tree, landscape, blue, fire, burning, bush, biblical, plant, yellow, green, goya, trees
 

Biography

I am a Painter. Ultimately, the paintings I make are an attempt to address the age-old challenge of how to best represent the world we inhabit on a flat, two-dimensional surface. But in tandem with that they are a way for me to explore a personal geography and history shaped by memory and a strong sense of place. To do this I create fictional landscapes of non-specific places. These locations often appear other-worldly or possess what I think of as the 'unreal real' or uncanny. The landscapes frequently possess signs of human intervention although they seldom contain figures. My paintings sometimes make direct reference to the work of other artists, particularly Caspar David Friedrich, Francisco Goya or Frederic Edwin Church. In appropriating and editing details from these, I want to see if the psychology of the landscape is altered when they have their context removed.  But importantly for me, my paintings also draw upon my memories of growing up in a remote part of Wales, with its associated sense of isolation. They also embrace myth and folklore. The titles sometimes come from songs - music is often an important and complementary reference point for me, and it forms part of the collage of elements that feed into my work.

 

I take both a formalist and an intuitive approach to painting. I spend many hours carefully planning the assemblage of elements in each painting, a process of mentally cutting and pasting between photographic sources. These are a combination of found photographs as a result of specific research and carefully staged photographs for the purpose of making paintings. Whether an old family photograph or an anonymous image from the internet, I want each motif in my paintings to have a sense of being real or believable. This sampling method results in repetitions and occlusions and a recurrence of motifs from one painting to the next. These act as narrative clues, cross-referencing and evoking each other, and as the paintings evolve, these elements become polarised. There might be a blurring of foreground and background, disruption of scale, perspective and pictorial space, and a shift between internal and external space.  

 

My paintings are built up in layers of acrylic. The paint in each zone within a composition is often given a consciously different treatment, for example through the immediacy with which it has been painted, or by building up layers of paint with varnish between layers. Sometimes areas are painted out as well as painted in, leaving traces of ideas showing through. Together with the autobiographical significance that they carry, the finished works address my experience of the process of their painting and the decisions I have taken along the path, embracing that which is rigorously thought through, unplanned, or sometimes accidental.

My painting This Could Be Eastern Europe, was shown in the 2016 edition of  John Moores Painting Prize as part of Liverpool Biennial 2016.

 

Awards:  Bankley Open Call 2017 2nd Prize Winner

               Nominated for Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts 2017

               Short-listed for Liverpool Art Prize 2008

CV & Education

Biography

Born: Wirral

Lives: Liverpool

Education: BA (Hons) History of Design and the Visual Arts.           Staffordshire University 1995

                   MA  Art History. Liverpool University 1997

Turps Banana Correspondence Course 2014-17. Mentors - Jennifer Coates/Covadonga Valdes/Phil King

Awards:  Bankley Open Call 2017 2nd Prize

               Nominated for Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts 2017

               Short-listed for Liverpool Art Prize 2008

FUTURE EXHIBITIONS

Discerning Eye 2017

Mall Galleries. London. 

Private View 16 November 2017

Open 16-26 November 2017

 

Art - Letter Home

Chinese Academy of Art Museum. Hangzhou. China.

December 2017 - Further details to be added.

 

RECENT EXHIBITIONS

Bankley Open Call 2017 Bankley Gallery and Studios Manchester. Oct 2017

Make Your Mark. PIY Paint Lounge. Sluice Biennial  Oct 2017

Storeyboard Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes. London. April-May 2017

Painting [Now]. Studio One Gallery. London. April 2017.

John Moores Painting Prize 2016. Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.  July - Nov 2016 

The Discerning Eye 2016. Mall Galleries, London. November 2016.

The Manchester Contemporary. Old Granada Studios, Manchester.

Exhibiting with LLE Gallery. September 2016

Time of the Season; New Paintings by Gareth Kemp.   Bridewell Studios & Gallery. September 2016

Correspond. Interview Room 11, Ocean Terminal 1, Edinburgh.  July - August 2016. 

The Columbia Threadneedle Prize: Figurative Art Today. Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. July 2016 
Correspond. Rye Creative Centre, Rye. May 2016

Let Us Make a Better World. Cello Factory, London.  April 2016 
 

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, Mall Galleries, London.  March 2016 

Early Warning (Mark Devereux Projects). &Model Gallery, Leeds. March -  April 2016 

Correspond. Artworks, Halifax  February - March 2016 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS 

Threadneedle Prize, 2016//Discerning Eye, 2014//Threadneedle Prize, 2014//The Manchester Contemporary(with Axisweb), 2013//The National Open, 2010//Next Up: Liverpool Art Now, The Bluecoat Gallery, 2008//Liverpool Art Prize, 2008