Artist’s Statement

Like many artists, I’m rather suspicious of artists’ statements. Leaving aside the earnest pretentiousness of so much artspeak (beautifully captured by I feel that if I could explain everything that motivates my work clearly and simply in a few words I might be better off being a writer.

But some sort of explanation is required.

My pictures are abstract, grounded in Western art movements of the twentieth century. Certain motifs make a regular appearance: wonky geometric shapes; allusions to architecture and technology; drips and painterly accidents. I seem to alternate between two ‘colour modes’: black and white designs with a smattering of earth colours – usually in oils; and brightly coloured acrylics. What unifies these two approaches is the urge to create a sense of depth within an essentially 2-dimensional language; to imply a window into a landscape, rather as Renaissance painters might include a view through a window at the elbow of a portrait sitter.

Also present is the contrast between strength and fragility. Looking at the decaying industrial structures in the old docks in Bristol, I’m drawn to the way apparently solid pieces of material have been shaped, by chance or by the elements, into such elegant and delicate forms. Large, rusting steel sheets with just a small piece cut out, or a hole drilled, or a corner corroded acquire an aesthetically pleasing sense of balance. Massive oak piles left to rot in the river mud develop gently fluid curves. Things look to be on the point of collapse but have been poised like that for decades.

© 2023 Vyvyan Hope-Scott