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Artist's StatementI am interested in the intersection between representation and abstraction. Between existence and non-existence. The liminal space between traditional representative art and the abstract concerns of line, shape, pattern, colour and form. Constructing his works as palimpsests, they are created through layers of paint that are built up and partially erased, sometimes effaced, scratched and scored. Yet, erasure is never merely a matter of making things disappear; there are always traces of previous mark-making, some bruising to the surface of the canvas, some reminder of the original mark. Of the gesture once made. Whether rubbed away, scratched or effaced, the rejected entity returns; an ethereal record of a presence in time.
From growing up on the Welsh borders to studying at Aberystwyth School of Art surrounded by mountains and wild seascapes, Jonny Church’s work has long been influenced by time spent in nature. Lines and forms in the environment emerge as abstract or semi-abstract constructs, the organisation of form in space, as he seeks to convey both the conspicuous and the intangible in his surroundings. As the paintings unfold, their materiality obstructs, disrupts, and interferes with the emerging image. Impure formations and unstable narratives are revealed as a series of gestures, actions and traces.
This latest body of work marks an increased concern with environmental issues in the artists’ paintings. The cycle of construction, destruction and re-construction hints at more than mere process or formal quality of the work. As the landscapes dissolve into abstraction, losing recognisable form, we might question this erasure more literally as we consider the ecological crisis facing our planet today and the possibility that we are passing the point of renewal, of that which we have destroyed.