Shining Light

Shining Light
February 2017
Oil on canvas

shining-light

Mayhew Craddock has developed an interest in the earth’s layers and the earth’s relationship with its greater environment, over the past few years – intrigued by the moon, sea, land, magnetic forces and tides tides, Shining Light looks specifically at the romanticism of stargazing, and the way in which people (from around the globe) have navigated using the night sky, and looked to the stars for direction in love and life throughout history. The idea of greater forces being at work dictating behaviour on the ‘surface’, and pathways that most are totally oblivious to both fascinates and frightens the artist who views elemental forces as having the capacity to offer great personal perspective.

The layered nature of understanding is represented in this series of work through the depth of colour of the oil paints selected (working with two of the slowest drying pigments available) and contrasting flecks of constellations that allow viewers to consider their position in time and space.

In short, the work is a visual allegory for the necessity of, and the difficulty in, gaining a 360 degree understanding of any subject in order to fully comprehend a situation, and make informed decisions as a consequence… posing the question as to whether or not we ought to merely follow our gut instinct, and be guided by ‘that star’ that shines brighter than all the rest yet changes according to the environment it is seen in.

This series of works places emphasis on the mystery, beauty, and romanticism of one’s relationship with the galaxy, and those relationships we harness within in, whilst also inviting the viewer to acknowledge the enormity and influencing factors of what lies beneath and above ‘the surface’.

The work takes its title from the song Shining Light by Ash – a song that resonates from the artists’ youth.

Look Up!

So, sometimes it’s impossible to shake off an idea. An idea for a piece of work just stays in your head, often goes through various changes as time and thoughts progress, but the concept remains the same and stays with you.

Well, I’ve had a yellow disc dangling from the ceiling in three different studios now, a blue sheet draped in the air, and a kaleidoscope tacked to a window. They relate to a series of three sculptural works all inspired by the perspective offered by time spent in the great outdoors.

The Sun Never Stops Shining is a bright yellow transparent disc that towers overhead offering shelter, and a space for reflection. Through the grey days, life’s difficulties, and hard times some things remain constant, wether one’s aware of them or not – the sun never stops shining. Get out, soak up some essential vitamin d, feel the breeze on your face!

Similarly, Look Up! offersa place to shelter, to gather, to chew the fat, and contemplate. A place to look up from one’s smart phone, to interact with real people, real environments, in real time.

The kaleidoscope idea (working title, Chasing Rainbows) is far from being fully resolved, but it won’t go away. I just know that I want to create a piece of sculptural work that uses prisms to catch and reflect light. A piece that can be approached from any angle, and reveals the “magic” of daylight – the beauty that exists in the simplest things – the beauty that exists in nature!

Mirror Paintings

As a continuation of current explorations in mapping I’ve been looking at the ‘Communications’ keys on Ordnance Survey maps; considering again the nature of decision making in life, and how one picks one’s own route through life choosing either to follow specific paths, or go ‘off piste’. Similar to The Natural Course of Things, I’m attempting to highlight the ability, on inability to follow paths according to an ability to read those ‘markers’ that guide the way. In this body of work, however, I’ve chosen to paint imaginary routes, dictated by imaginary landscapes (or voids) that are filled with the viewer’s reflection, by nature of the fact that I am painting on to mirror glass, fractured mirror glass asserting an imperfection or lack of complete control in each piece of work / reflection / route.

I’ve been selected to participate in North Yorkshire Open Studios 2017, and this body of work will be shown for the first time as part of the Open Studios exhibition at my home on South Parade, Northallerton, 2/3/4 and 10/11 June 2017 (look out for the posters in the window!).

For a free NYOS 2017 catalogue, contact the NYOS team on info@nyos.org.uk  /  01756 748529 – I look forward to welcoming you in June!

Journeys

I spent this afternoon packaging up my On The Surface body of work ready to journey south to Oxfordshire (where it was made) as it has been selected for inclusion in a group exhibition at Wilcote Art near Finstock in Oxfordshire. The venue is hardly the Turbine Hall, but I’m really happy and honoured to have been selected to exhibit alongside some really interesting interdisciplinary artists (all female, coincidentally, and all of new to me, bar Nimmi Naidoo, whose work I’ve admired before). Amongst them are Nimmi Naidoo, Katherine Glynne-JonesHelena Fox, Natasha Solomons, Margaret Godel, and Sue Tucker. The theme of the show is Journeys, though I have no idea what the other work on display will be – looking forward to it!

Finstock’s located between Oxford and Chipping Norton. The exhibition is open on the 21,22, 26, 28, 29, and 30th May from 11am to 6pm, excepting Thursday when it’s open 11am to 8pm. The exhibition has been coordinated to coincide with Oxfordshire Artweeks.