Well what happened to 2020, and 21 and…. yeah, well, anyway, moving on…. or maybe not, as it happens, because what I said then holds true – except that Quiddity was an exhibition that never happened.
But the work goes on, the same as ever; exploring, experimenting. On the coast path, in the sea, in the studio. There’s little distinction in my mind between those. Some of it’s input, some of it output; sometimes there’s something worth hanging on a wall at the end of the day, and other times there’s just sand between my toes. And it’s all good, all part of the process.
One day, perhaps, I’ll figure out what this page is supposed to be, and then maybe I’ll rewrite it. And maybe, because it’s relevant to my current work, I’ll include the story of how I stopped being scared of the sea. But meanwhile…
2020 Vision: Quiddity
IanB is an artist, living and working in the town of St Just, Cornwall since 2010. Often inspired by the land and seascapes of the West Penwith peninsula, his work explores the relationship between humans and the landscapes they inhabit.
As people leave their physical mark upon the land, so the land shapes the hearts and minds of people. An age old battle or, hope whispers, a never-ending dance. There are lessons preserved in the land, for those with the wisdom to see.
And how shall we learn? Can a stone wall speak to us from 12 thousand years ago? Maybe. The art may be visual, but it speaks loudly to the heart. Not all seeing is with the eyes, understanding not the sole preserve of the mind.
Can we glimpse the essence of this human experience, and know it for what it is? Maybe.
The art may indeed be the way to the dream sea.
I never went to art school. I have no formal art education.
I don’t know who reads artist’s statements.
So maybe I’m just writing this for me.
But if you’re reading then Hi! I guess this is for you as well.
I’m influenced, of course. You’ll see Mondrian, blatantly, Kandinsky, more subtly.
Know my father and you may also sense his touch – his hand guiding me to a life in design and graphics, the love of black & white, contrast, geometry, the straight line.
No art school, but a childhood home full of books on art and photography.
Oh, and a house where there was no spare bedroom (darkroom), no dining room (magazine production), no garden room (art studio) and no garage for the car (printing press).
Ingrained, I suppose.
And then I’m inspired. By this place – St Just, the town and the rugged beauty of West Penwith, the land and seascapes.
And so I paint. This place. Sometimes pictures OF it, sometimes pictures ABOUT it. Sometimes just the way it feels.
Mostly the way it feels.
And this place… well it’s often Carn Bosavern – maybe the houses on the hill (grey, brown, higgledy pigledy, gable ends, roof lines, crissy crossy phone lines – BOOSH! Geometry in your face), maybe the view from the hill (fields, hills, sea, sky, or just fog). Maybe the view from my studio window (mostly houses, or fog) or maybe the view inside my head (er…..fog?) and the way that feels (er…..) or how it feels in my heart (…..)
And that, for me at least, is what this art thing is all about; trying to convey, in my case with acrylics on canvas, what it feels like to be in this place.
‘This place’ varies with how expansive or withdrawn I’m feeling. Real, imagined, metaphorical, emotional, one and all. The portrayal varies, over time, with experience, with a light or heavy heart, with eyes fresh or jaded. The intent remains: To show this place.
So if ever you should find yourself, on viewing my art, saying “ah, yes, I know this place…”, well then welcome, my friend, it’s a pleasure to connect.
IanB, Carn Bosavern, 2019