Gavin Blench

My work deals with the tensions between boundaried space and open space in my local landscape on the edge of Dartmoor. Here I try to capture my first instinctive impressions of the place. Focusing upon the essential components and contrasts that make up a specific landscape, I paint the distinctions between these states in their simplest form.

I either paint directly outdoors or work from many drawings made in situ then translated into paint in the studio. Over time I’ve found that this close observation links me to bigger cycles of time and place than my own day-to-day concerns. I work in oils and the process of painting itself has a lot to say about the finished piece; abstraction, colour, gesture.

I originally trained in sculpture at Bretton Hall in the early 90’s but put aside art to concentrate on teaching and an involvement in aboriginal culture and music. A diagnosis of progressive MS led me to drawing and painting the landscape around me as it becomes increasingly inaccessible. In response, my art practice opens up a deeper dialogue with my relationship to place and time. Having a studio here at Hannah’s is a wonderful opportunity to be part of this lively and welcoming cultural hub.