A selection of paintings shown in the
'Songs of the Far Journey' exhibition with Kate Walters
by The ARThouse Gallery
at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum
Coastal Shapes 51 x 61 cm
ARTIST’S STATEMENT – GERRY DUDGEON
Living in West Dorset I am fascinated by the way the landscape has been shaped by geological forces and by past generations of people who have worked the land. I enjoy walking high up in the hills or along the Jurassic coast where I initially make sketchbook research drawings. Later, back in my studio near Bridport, I use these for reference while working on drawings and paintings which are an abstracted interpretation of my experiences. I try to create a tension between the flatness of the picture plane and a suggestion of depth by inviting the viewer to follow lines and pathways through the work into the distance.
In the paintings I prefer to find forms during the process of working rather than planning the outcome in advance, and areas of paint are frequently removed by scraping back or wiping out with a cloth to reveal underlying layers. A similar approach is used in the graphite drawings, in which fossil forms and man-made structures can be glimpsed beneath areas of tone, suggesting a link through time with previous eras. This method reflects my former work on archaeological excavations, where different levels of human occupation were carefully trowelled back to reveal their history.
In the Moroccan paintings I am similarly interested in layers of time, evident in the mud-built architecture of the Berber people. My love of strong colour is given full rein in this series, referring both to the hues of the Atlas Mountains and to Islamic ceramics, mosaics and carpets.
Moroccan Kasbah Walls 76 x 87 cm