LAND2

Michael Evans

For me landscape is a place of experience for body and mind, in fact, it is a place for experience which can perhaps serve as a reminder of how connected body and mind are, offering a way past what may be described as a dualistic (Cartesian), alienated consciousness. My work has moved on a number of occasions between representation and varying forms of abstraction, in an attempt to understand the nature of the experience I have within the landscape and how painting could explore this.

My most recent abstract work has relied on process to create paintings which in one sense (I hope) just seem to ‘exist’, without the emphasis being placed on author or signature style. Gerhard Richter once referred to wanting to make a painting that was ‘like a piece of nature’: in some ways process gives me that sense of detachment. This has implications for my relationship to landscape and the idea of a specific (geographical) place. I attempt to engage with landscape in a manner which avoids over-familiarity or cliché – both in terms of our shared cultural perceptions of landscape and landscape painting in particular. My paintings need, in a sense, to be at one remove; this means a lack of direct reference to the landscape and also a distancing from what could be typified as a modernist emphasis on facture or gesture. I do not attempt to make paintings which in some way demonstrate a theoretical stance on landscape, but rather to make paintings which in themselves provide the viewer with a sense of immediate or original experience. I work in the hope that the landscape, although mediated through culture, may provide a place for direct experience. In order to explore this in a contemporary context, it has become necessary to remove a direct reference to ‘place’, in the hope that the viewer of my paintings may find themselves in a more immediate relationship with ‘experience’ through the paintings (without the intermediary obstacle of representation). My relationship to the landscape therefore becomes a relationship to a form of ‘non-place’ which provides openness for association and a focus on experience rather than a culturally defined concept. Although experience can no doubt be associated with place, I am interested in a specific type of experience rather than the particular place the experience occurred

LThe Romantic notion of the sublime, or rather I should say what vestiges remain of it, defines the area of experience which most interests me in terms of the landscape. The idea of the sublime was crucial to the Romantics and has been of continuing importance for many artists who deal with the landscape (also for many abstract painters who have located the source of their work as the sublime). However, the Romantic notion of the sublime is for many, now simply unsustainable, frequent attempts have been made to ‘update’ it or replace it with ideas of a ‘contemporary sublime’. Within this uncertain postmodern framework, I position my paintings, as an attempt to connect with a type of experience which may still be possible but perhaps now needs a new interpretative framework in order to be understood in a contemporary environment.

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Education

  • 2004 –
    • PhD (London Metropolitan University)
  • 1991-92
    • MA Painting – Chelsea College of Art & Design
  • 1984-87
    • BA (Hons) Fine Art – Coventry Polytechnic
  • 1983-84
    • Foundation Course – Wrexham

Current Teaching

Senior Lecturer in Painting, University College Northampton

Awards & Residencies

  • 2001
    • University of Glamorgan Purchase Art Prize (selected)
  • 1990
    • Rhyl Art Gallery
  • 1987
    • David Murray Studentship (Landscape Award) Royal Academy of Art

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2005
    • Rugby Art Gallery, three person show, in collaboration with the National Landscape Research Group, (with intention to tour)
    • Wrexham Arts Centre.“When science meets art” – in collaboration with Dr. P.J.Hill
  • 2003
    • Micro NZ 2003 Art and Science Exhibition, (Joint meeting of New Zealand and Australian Societies for Microbiology, Auckland, New Zealand)
  • 2000
    • ‘RE’ two person show, University College Northampton
    • One man show, Windsor Arts Centre
  • 1999
    • ‘RE’ two person show, Hannover Gallery, Liverpool
  • 1998
    • Group show, Clapham Art Gallery, London
    • Group show, Will’s Art Warehouse, Fulham, London
  • 1996
    • ‘Eros’ group show, Coventry Gallery, London
  • 1991
    • One man show, Stamford Arts Centre
    • ‘Living Landscapes’ Gill Gallery, Lewisham
  • 1990
    • Pacesetters ‘10’ Peterborough Museum/Art Gallery
    • Two person show, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
    • Two man show, Rhyl Art Gallery (Incorporating Residency)
    • One man show, Theatre Clwyd, Mold, North Wales
  • 1987
    • David Murray Studentship (Landscape Award) Royal Academy of Art

 

Michael Evans

e-mail: michael.evans@northampton.ac.uk

© Copyright Leeds 2017