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ABOUT PAINTINGS
 
'16,'15,'14, '13,'12,'11,'10,'09,'08,'07,'06,'05,'04,'03
 
I'm working with landscape and mythology. Two figures - male and female, land and sea: It’s a way to explore something, coming again to places I experienced as a child, moving between the symbolic, the imaginary and the real.

The painting Ulysses is about Jenny's Cove near St Ives, where we got the fools-gold as kids. It's a seafaring bit of coast. I was painting the Siren series at the time and gave it the title that describes the two figures in the painting. I've abstracted the figures down to very simplified elements.

It's the relationship between the sea and coast - Ulysses tied to his mast, the Temptress on the island: The story of the Odyssey.

It's easy to get lost if you don't distinguish between a painting that is trying to depict or say and a painting that is trying to reveal something unsayable. Concealment is necessary to preserve an efficacious mystery.

Gurlyn Wood is about a place on the way to Godolphin - a wood that I knew of as a child. But I brought to it the two figures that I was working with in other paintings.

Valley of the Stones has no childhood associations. But to understand anything you bring your entire experience. In a sense you impose yourself on it. This can produce picturesqueness. It's not so much the superficial qualities that need to be expressed - it's how you come to understand something.

What this valley on the north Devon coast had for me was a reawakening of the sense that a glacier came down that valley and did what it did. It was that distant echo of a child grappling with geological time - in the landscape, in the walking.

Ulysses Il

Ulysses

 

Gurlyn Wood

Valley of the Stones



Valley of the Kings is about a stretch of high country where the chieftains and kings were buried in Megalithic times. It's a great theme - almost astrological in scale - holding an excitement for all of us. You can look through six thousand years of history standing on a hill in one landscape.
And it's still there.



Valley of the Kings

The old experiences and the new - they all boil down inside. What I see now is seen with emotion. It's a song, like that blackbird every morning, barely physical - almost invisible to the ears.

 Copyright  © Matthew Lanyon 2017. All rights reserved.