Home:- John Sturgess - Paintings,
drawings and prints.
From the early 1960's, evocation and evocative non-descriptive images have deeply interested me. A visual image, evocative of experience or one that makes reference to something, is mysterious and compelling to me.
'Change' was always a constant theme in my work and from this time ideas like the four seasons interested me; this idea of change still lies behind some of my work today. Landscape and its numerous diverse qualities have always been a major and underlying influence in my work, particularly in terms of distilling from it certain qualities such as lyricism, meditativeness and distinct moods, atmospheres and spaces. The idea of the landscape always being basically the same yet constantly in a visual state of flux is an theme that remains fundamental to the 'Field' series of paintings.
Equally, the historical development of music through its constantly developing and changing concepts has played an important role in my work. In 'modern' times, the ideas of composers such as Reich, Riley and Adams with their paradoxical ideas of repetition and change have also influenced my thinking.
Along with these ideas of change, landscape and music, ancient cultures were my other main influence, especially in my earlier works. Several series of watercolour paintings derived from this area of study, i.e. a 'hieratic figure series', a series of camps etc. (not included in this catalogue).
I believe a painting to have its own independent language and although the 'Field' series might be thought to be abstract, in fact all my work comes from direct external experience. The 'Field' series, for example, with its ambiguous title, includes various 'incidents' in the painting; all of which are distilled from, and evocative of, actual landscape experiences. Also, the 'En Fête' series is derived from direct experience and is concerned with visual and audio chaos, mesmerism, and cacophony. The paintings in the 'Music series' are engendered by actual pieces heard or can be evocative of other direct experiences such as cityscapes or architecture.
The nature of my work as a painter has been to take a simple, basic, geometric structure, devoid of personal connotations yet full of interpretive potential; and to use all the ideas, at every level to create, solely through the use of colour, an experiment into what the 'language' is capable of carrying in terms of content and context .
Read about John's Education, Background and Exhibitions...
View a list of links where you can navigate to websites about some of John's favourite artists and influences...