Richard Benbow

My practice begins by the simple act of walking. I stake out my territory. A lyrical loiterer I am. Inspiration springs from the absorption of the landscape through the senses – touch, seeing, hearing, and feeling. In a spiritual sense – for our connection to the land is deeper than purely physical – the memories we gather vibrate and reverberate within our hearts and minds.

The tool of abstraction enables me to configure my message. I am interested in psychogeography and the world around me, which I interpret through thought, philosophy, and ideas. Paradoxically, the world subsists in a ‘concrete’ existence; however, I don’t attempt to represent external reality, but seek to portray the world through shapes, colours, and textures. Rural/suburban/urban districts, the edgelands; where the city meets the countryside are my subjects. My work is inspired by the art of Victor Pasmore, Ivon Hitchen, Albert Irvin, Peter Lanyon, and Adrian Berg. I contextualise my work by studying these artists techniques and methods of observing and painting the landscape, particularly through their composition, use of colour, and mark making. Aboriginal art also inspires me, not just the visual impact, but also the spiritual connection of the people to the land and aspects of their culture such as the ‘walkabout’ and ‘Dreamtime’.

Recently, I have been referring to online satellite maps and using this resource material as a framework to create a composition. I always use places where I have recently walked, in which my memories and experiences are fresh. I will often revisit these sites repeatedly. I paint out the structure of the composition and then work into it over several sessions. Depending on the size of the surface, the paintings can be rendered relatively quickly, or take many hours or days to reach completion.

Instagram: @richard__j__benbow

Orange Kiss Landscape, Acrylic on cradled wooden panel, 30 x 40 cm, 2020

Path to Pink, Acrylic on cradled wooden panel, 30 x 40 cm, 2020

Purple Field, Acrylic on cradled wooden panel, 30 x 40 cm, 2020

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