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Roger Davies


Standing Stones
Thoughts on Current Work
I have always been a 'Colourist' with a particular leaning towards blues and reds. Originally inspired by the smelting furnaces in the South Wales steel works, I have produced abstract and semi-abstract works throughout my career, from industrial subject matter through landscapes and still lives.

Perhaps it is with maturity in years that most artists return to the landscape to express their vision and interpretation. Decades of observation draw them to a cthonic subject matter rather than the often contradictory and questioning contents of their inner feelings and memories. From an almost radical abstraction of my earlier years emerges often a new romantic semi-abstraction to be found in the natural and wonderful landscapes that surround us every day.

I find in my recent paintings a sense of this wonder, whether it be in the glacial stony memories of our forefathers on the Welsh hill forts, in the small lakes that dot our country, or in the radically different landscapes of Australia or the Greek Islands, where blinding sunlight and cobalt sea, sky and shadows also impose their own natural abstraction. I certainly cannot conceive of a time when such images fail to fascinate and demand attention.

Transferring one's artistic intent from decades of disciplined semi-abstract to landscape is not as radical as it seems. Within the imagery of landscape the abstract is endemic. Less so, perhaps among the bucolic, but when the muscles and sinews of nature are exposed in massive rock formations, wild rushing water or black groping tree branches, one is conscious of the life cycle of nature starkly visible to all. It is these elements in particular I wish to observe and exploit. The relationship between growth and decline often gives rise to the wonderful, the dramatic and occasionally, the grotesque as trees cling to life, rocks grind and tumble and mighty water forces its way between all, to finally lie flat and calm to mirror raw nature around its perimeter. The shapes we see are dictated by the inner workings of the earth; what Dylan Thomas called 'the green fuse'.