bernard charnley


- The following reflections are only a guide to my own thoughts or motivations, not an explanation of the work. Once a painting is resolved it has its own life and relationship to the viewer. That may be informed by or even resonate with the artist's intentions, but is not the end story.

- An ongoing interest is in imageries of change. This has led to recent work marking a shift in the handling of paint and content. The current series shown on this site attempts to draw upon the full capacity of oil paint as a technical and metaphoric medium.

- The act of painting as an intuitive, sensory and tactile intelligence, underlies my output.- The reflective content is drawn from a political sensibility. The levers are metaphor and the spectacle through an imaginary of radical disturbance.

- Each painting reiterates a collapse of the normal with unexpected results. The image can be likened to a theatrical event. The production is set outside with evocations of land or seascape. Architectural props are the actors caught in a moment of chaos. Yet that same instant yields a surprising contrast. Colour emerges from, ignites or lights this virtual stage.

- These visual metaphors touch on ideas of dystopia, while paradoxically releasing a narrative of colour and light as an emancipatory energy. In turn, ideas of visual beauty are rehearsed and re-sited within mises-en-scène of latent transformation.