Brian Neish studied Art in Winchester in the early 1980s before embarking on a career in art education.
In 2010 he became a full time professional artist and his work is now regularly exhibited in the UK and internationally.
Neish has always been keenly interested in ageing and worn out surfaces on architectural features such as walls, doors, shutters and panels, particularly those that have had to endure the elements over extended periods of time. He calls the appearance of these debilitating effects Noble Decay to suggest a sense of them displaying increasingly expressive visual qualities over time.
Neish proposes the notion that some surfaces look more beautiful after time has had its way with them than they looked when they were brand new.
Original sources have included ancient Italian hill-top towns, old, semi-deserted villages in France and abandoned buildings beside less well travelled roads in the United States.
The artist’s response to these sources are paintings that explore ideas derived from observing particular effects such as rust streaks, flaking paint, pitted surfaces, corroded metal, or paint rubbed smooth by the effects of sun and wind. Each source is unique, which is the reason why many of his paintings are titled after the place where an idea was formed. So he is also concerned to express something of their particular essence and character.
Balanced with this is a commitment to remain faithful to the unique properties of oil paint, and to respond to these accordingly. The process he uses to layer paint seems to endow a painting’s surface with its own expressive qualities too so the challenge is to create a synthesis between something drawn from the original source and something new, unpredictable and creative in its own right.
The work is, ultimately, about time and invites consideration of how time impacts upon us – the stages in our own lives from childhood to adulthood and old age, phases we all go through, experiences that seem to form us one way or the other, and the evidence of these experiences buried or covered over only to be peeled away again when we pause to think about memories and the journeys we have all taken…
Road Trip opens with a preview on Thursday January 22, 6.30 -8.30pm and continues until Saturday January 31.
Opening hours during exhibitions at the gallery in Union Road are: Thursday 11am – 7pm Friday, Saturday 11am – 4pm or by appointment tel: Lyn Bannister +44 7753842861