The Arcadia paintings were a series I exhibited in 2001. Some of the forms and techniques employed had their genesis in the previous Metalline series. In these works I increased the scale and produced four large works – Resonance, Arcadia, Citadel and Constellation. Three smaller works were also included in the exhibition, including Elysium and Small Edifice. According to the dictionary Arcadia refers to “a mountainous area of Greece, traditionally known for the contented pastoral innocence of its people.” It can also mean “any real or imaginary place offering peace and simplicity.” (dictionary.com)
In the history of art there have been conscious attempts to paint a type of “arcadian ideal,” notably in the works of Claude Lorraine. What would a modern, abstracted version of this look like? The title of this exhibition and the green painting Arcadia was also inspired by Tom Stoppard’s 1993 play, also entitled Arcadia. In the play a student studying mathematical biology attempts to discover past events that occur at a country estate in England, and past and present overlap and blur together.
In these works I strived for a simplicity of form and colour and aimed to evoke realms of the imagination. Citadel was intended to be an abstracted version of an imaginary landscape, a citadel of the imagination. Small Edifice incorporated simple silver lines floating on a blue field. Resonance is a large purple, silver and white painting. As the title suggests it refers to music and is probably the closest as I’ve ever come to attempting to paint what a beautiful, reverberating sound might look like.
Arcadia, acrylic and metallic leaf on canvas, private collection
Elysium, acrylic and metallic leaf on canvas, private collection
Constellation, metallic leaf and acrylic on canvas, private collection
Resonance, metallic leaf and acrylic on canvas
Citadel on left, Constellation on right at Chiaroscuro Gallery